Using Population Policies and Non-Governmental Organizations to Explain HIV/AIDS Outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa

Rachel S. Robinson, American University

There exists no consistent explanation for why some countries are successful in combating HIV/AIDS and others are not (de Waal 2006). We need an explanation in order to design effective policies and programs to improve reproductive health. This paper combines short case studies (Senegal, Nigeria, and Malawi) with analysis of quantitative, country-level data to determine how strategies used in sub-Saharan African countries in the 1980s and 1990s to slow population growth impacted later success in reducing the prevalence of HIV/AIDS. Specifically, I test the model that countries with strong efforts to reduce population growth were left with 1) reproductive health care infrastructure, 2) non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and 3) practice convincing people to alter intimate behaviors that then translated into effective HIV interventions. This paper thus considers the organizational and institutional context, set by population policies and NGOs working on both family planning and HIV/AIDS, for reproductive health outcomes.

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Presented in Session 131: Contextual and Policy Influences on Reproductive Health and Fertility