1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Social Policy and Development (2000 - 2009)

UNRISD Research workshop on Community Responses to HIV/AIDS

Date: 31 Aug - 2 Sep 2005



UNRISD held a research workshop examining Community Responses to HIV/AIDS, initially for researchers on the 31 August, and then for a wider gathering on the 1-2 September 2005.

The research project on "Community responses to HIV/AIDS" undertaken by UNRISD in cooperation with the Training and Research Support Centre (TARSC) explores issues of how far HIV/AIDS prevention interventions adopt social approaches that link individuals at risk within social networks and the extent to which they address the micro- or macro-environmental determinants of HIV/AIDS. It also addresses questions of whether responses to the impacts of AIDS build mechanisms to share the costs of AIDS and build solidarity and equity in resource and service support for vulnerable households and families. While there is a significant and growing body of literature on community participation and responses to HIV and AIDS, these equity-oriented questions are still poorly recognized or supported by systematic evidence.

This UNRISD project, coordinated with TARSC, is supporting studies from Brazil, Congo, Haiti, India, Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe. These studies are looking at different dimensions of how risk environments are confronted and how household and individual HIV/AIDS burdens managed in socially and economically marginalized communities - particularly in women, orphans, vulnerable children and in young people.

The workshop reviewed the findings from the studies and made inputs to research still in progress. Researchers in the project outlined the perspective and analytic general framework used in the project and reported back on the studies. The workshop drew from the studies and experience of the delegates from UN, countries, academic institutions and civil society for discussion of our understanding and knowledge of community responses to HIV and AIDS. These showed how the organization of responses (from global to local level) has enabled or undermined effective support to household and community responses. The papers and discussant inputs, research findings and the discussions held aimed to suggest changes to policy, programme or institutional intervention to strengthen support of community responses to HIV and AIDS.