A new article titled “COVID-19 pandemic: lessons from the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Southern Africa” has been co-authored by Dr. Logan Cochrane, associate professor at Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s College of Public Policy (CPP), with Paul Mkandawire and Shazia Sadaf from the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.
Using Malawi as a case study, the commentary takes a retrospective view of the HIV/AIDS epidemic to draw lessons about COVID-19 in Southern Africa, its spread, and government responses. With the legacy of colonialism and the distortions arising from still-active structural adjustment programs, Dr. Cochrane and his co-authors argue that the same factors which propelled the spread of HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa continue to shape vulnerability and responses to COVID-19 in decisive ways. They conclude that understanding the geography and political ecology of HIV/AIDS is key to discerning the social and political determinants of the current pandemic, which in turn provides direction regarding appropriate social policy responses.
The article has been published in African Geographic Review by Taylor & Francis Online at https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19376812.2020.1858122