BP12: Public opinion and HIV/AIDS: Facing up to the future?


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Briefing papers

Across 15 countries surveyed in Round 2 of the Afrobarometer, our data in dicate that large proportions of people (especially in East and Southern Africa) have either lost family or friends to AIDS, or suffer under the burdens of AIDS by caring for sick family members or orphans. Yet despite exposure to the pandemic, we find that ordinary Africans have not yet grasped its full collective social, economic or political significance. Poor people demote AIDS to a low priority problem behind more immediately pressing concerns like jobs or hunger. Citizens are undecided about whether their governments should divert scarce resources from these and other important priorities to fight the AIDS epidemic in their country.