Global HIV/AIDS Governance in the Economic Crisis

40 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 28 Aug 2010

See all articles by You-Te Liao

You-Te Liao

National Chengchi University (NCCU) - Institute of International Relations

Date Written: 2010


The current economic crisis can hamper the global HIV/AIDS governance. The most direct effect on the global HIV/AIDS effort is the decreased funding due to government fiscal difficulties. The situation is particularly worrying in Africa, home of more than two-thirds of people living with AIDS. The research question is how much impact does the current global financial crisis have on the governance of the HIV/AIDS crusade?

To answer this question, this paper first seeks to identify the nature of the current global HIV/AIDS governance structure. There exists an extraordinary archipelago of global, international, regional, national and sub-national governments; transnational and local corporations and civil society organizations; and individuals from all walks of life from former heads of the state to rock stars. Innovative ways of cooperation and collaboration, such as the global public-private partnership, are formed along with the creation of specific institutions designated to deal with the HIV/AIDS situation. This paper argues that the current global HIV/AIDS governance constitutes multi-level governance because of the funding mechanisms. The multi-level nature of the HIV/AIDS governance allows us to grasp how actors integrate and collaborate, and more importantly, how each level of governance will be affected by the current economic stress.

Global HIV/AIDS assistance for HIV/AIDS has increased multi-fold. The G8/EC accounts for more than more than 80% of the total funding. The drastic increase in funding has resulted in the decrease of HIV infections in many countries and has made the target to halve global HIV prevalence of the Millennium Development Goals #6 reachable. Yet, it is estimated that $25 billion is needed for 2010 to eradicate HIV/AIDS. And the current financial crisis has generated fiscal problems for governments as they come up with stimulus plans of their own, even when facing budget deficits. In poor countries affected hardest by HIV/AIDS, the decrease in household income due to the financial crisis will make drugs inaccessible than before. Already, there are many warnings from international governmental organizations and nongovernmental organizations alerting that the negative impact of decrease in funding.

To examine the latest data from various sources will enable this paper to make assessment on the impact of the economic downturn. The study is important because HIV/AIDS has no cure and the best treatment is the expensive antiretroviral programs. The interruption or cease of the antiretroviral drug treatment will not only worsen one’s health but also increase greater risks of transmission. In turn, it will hamper the global effort to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic that has only recently made limited process.

Keywords: Global Health Governance, HIV/AIDS, Global Governance

Suggested Citation

Liao, You-Te, Global HIV/AIDS Governance in the Economic Crisis (2010). APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN:

You-Te Liao (Contact Author)

National Chengchi University (NCCU) - Institute of International Relations ( email )

64 Wan Shou Road, Wenshang District

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