The relationship between HIV/AIDS and the Environment under a microscope

18 January 2010 | News story

The HIV/AIDS pandemic affects every person, organization and sector in Africa. This includes the natural resource sector where impacts include loss of human capacity for natural resource management and changes in use of land and natural resources. IUCN-ESARO is working in partnership with the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) to improve the understanding of the relationships between HIV/AIDS, the environment and livelihoods.

Funded by IDRC, the project is based on the recognition that HIV/AIDS affected rural households are more likely to be impoverished and as a consequence rely stronger on natural resources for their livelihoods. Nature provides them with a safety net free of charge. There is indication that HIV/AIDS affected rural households rely more on wild fruits and plants to complement their diet. In addition, the collection of firewood, fruits and plants provides additional income to the family.

Further partnerships have also been established with the University of Nairobi and the Washington State University to develop a conceptual framework on the relationships between HIV/AIDS and the environment that will bring out clear understanding of the relationship between HIV/AIDS and the environment. This collaboration is also geared towards enhancing future project collaborations on this subject.

More information on these linkages can be accessed on http://www.iucn.org/about/union/secretariat/ offices/esaro/our_work_drylands/ drylands/idrc1/

For more information, please contact jonathan.davies@iucn.org and claire.ogali@iucn.org