by Suzy Subways, Editor, Solidarity Project
APRIL 2007 • Issue 4
War and natural disaster affect the AIDS pandemic in ways that can be devastating to individuals and their communities. Service disruptions increase HIV risk, interrupt treatment, obstruct continuity of care, and impede the provision of other necessary services, although the specifics vary depending on the nature of and response to the crisis. This article looks at two disparate regions of the world in which communities are determined to heal after experiencing severe crises. On the U.S. Gulf Coast following the 2005 hurricane season, and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, ravaged by civil war, activists and providers are identifying community needs, developing creative ways to meet them, and demanding that government and the international community support their efforts. These two very different situations provide examples of how disaster—whether natural, caused by humans, or a combination of both—and the resultant displacement of people affect those living with and at risk for HIV.