The HIV and urban food security nexus in Africa uri icon

abstract

  • The relationship between HIV and food security has been characterized by a tendency to view both as primarily rural phenomena. The urban literature, in turn, has been dominated by a biomedical focus on the nutritional implications of HIV infection on people living with HIV (PLHIV). Recently, attention has turned to related issues such as the value of nutrition supplementation, the nutritional implications of anti-retroviral therapy and the impact on both of rising food prices. This paper argues that the focus on rural food insecurity, the individual PLHIV and the nutritional aspects of food security, while valuable and necessary, are limiting our ability to understand the social and economic relationships that are central to the HIV-food security nexus in urban contexts. Rapid urbanization makes food security in the urban context a complex issue with a number of different and overlapping dimensions. Understanding the reciprocal relationship between HIV and urban food security requires a new social framework which incorporates, but is not constrained by, a focus on the nutritional impacts of the epidemic.

publication date

  • 2011
  • 2011