Triple Threat: HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria, and the Impact on Military Forces in Sub-Saharan Africa   [open pdf - 4MB]

From the thesis Introduction: "Military forces in Sub-Saharan Africa, including peacekeepers, rank among the highest population groups most affected by sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. These individuals are called upon to protect national security from threats such as terrorism, crime, internal and external conflict; serving at home and across national borders. For armed forces personnel, several key factors make them vulnerable to STIs: the work environment, mobility, and age. These risk factors expose all the population to HIV/AIDS infection, military and civilians. According to the Joint UN Program on AIDS (UNAIDS), soldiers are two to five times more likely to contract STIs than the civilian population. In fact, during conflict, the rate of STI infection can increase significantly. In some African countries, the rates of HIV infection among the military are estimated to be as high as 50 to 60 percent. HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa represents an obvious danger to security; if left unchecked, could compromise military effectiveness, which could then lead to instability within the region. In fact, reports have shown that 'the HIV/AIDS pandemic has already begun to diminish the effectiveness of many of Africa's armed forces.' Military organizations, however, possess the most important assets (discipline, hierarchy, efficiency, and youth) that can be exploited to raise awareness regarding the threat of HIV/AIDS and military readiness."

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