Research Paper: AIDS on South African Development

Pages: 8 (2794 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Disease  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] Mobility per se can encourage or make people vulnerable to high-risk sexual behaviour;

2. Mobility makes people more difficult to reach, whether for prevention education, condom provision, HIV testing, or post-infection treatment and care;

3. Migrants' multi-local social networks create opportunities for sexual networking; and,

4. There is a higher rate of HIV infection in "communities of the mobile," which often include socially, economically and politically marginalized people (Boe and Crush 22).

Taken together, it is clear that the high degree of mobility of South African mining workers combined with a modern transportation infrastructure combine to create a number of obstacles to combating the spread of this disease. Indeed, Boe and Crush emphasize that, "The current geography of the HIV epidemic is also the clue to its link with mobility. The highest incidence is not in Africa's poorest countries, but in Southern African countries such as South Africa and Botswana which have a good transport infrastructure, relatively high levels of economic development, and considerable internal and cross-border migration" (23).

Meeting the Challenge of HIV / AIDS in African Mining Camps

To date, the South African government has taken some steps to address the national HIV / AIDS problem.

1. By March 2012, more than 20.2 million people had received HIV testing pursuant to the HIV Counselling and Testing campaign which started in April 2010 (Update on progress and achievements 2).

2. The South African departments of science and technology, trade and industry, health, and economic development announced a joint initiative in the fight against HIV / AIDS known as Ketlaphela ("I will be fine" in Setswana) with Swiss-based pharmaceutical company, Lonza. South Africa plans on building multi-million dollar pharmaceutical facility to manufacture antiretroviral medications which is expected to begin operations in 2016 (Update on progress and achievements 2).

3. The South African National Development Plan 2030 published in August 2012 proposes expanding coverage of antiretroviral treatment to all HIV-positive South Africans (Update on progress and achievements 4).

4. The South African Cabinet resolved on November 23, 2011 that all government departments that are signatories to the Negotiated Service Delivery Agreement 2010-2014 continue to work together to address cross-cutting issues such as combating HIV and AIDS (Update on progress and achievement 8).

5. The Operational Plan for Comprehensive HIV and AIDS Care, Management and Treatment for South Africa (2003) mandates a communications plan that focuses on educating people who will be initiating antiretroviral drugs and their families on what to expect from the treatment and what they must do to make it successful.

While these initiatives stand to help address the overall HIV / AIDS problem in South Africa, they do not specifically address the problem of mining camps. In this area, Boe and Crush (2005) recommend "further steps in order to better integrate the two research fields of 'migration' and 'HIV / AIDS.' This can be done by building understanding in both research fields, and by creating new knowledge by exploring the interface between the two types of research" (49). In addition, there is a corresponding need to develop high quality national, regional and international research into these overarching themes (Boe and Crush 49). Finally, there is a need for additional research in the field of population mobility and HIV / AIDS in the following areas:

1. Impact of migration on rural migrant communities and sexual networking;

2. The role of culture;

3. Evaluation of HIV interventions in the context of migration;

4. Different levels of causation of HIV transmission;

5. Role of population mobility in HIV epidemiology;

6. Health worker migration; and,

7. Migration induced by HIV and AIDS (Boe and Crush 50).


The research showed that the platinum, diamond, gold and chromium mining sectors are currently the most important sources of export revenues for the South African economy. The research also showed that these mining sectors employ large numbers of migrant workers from neighboring countries including Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland as well as large numbers of South African nationals. The living conditions in many mining camps that are constructed to support the industry are infamously poor and tend to promote transient sexual behaviors that are not unique to mining camps but which are more commonplace in these environments. In the final analysis, complex problems demand complex solutions and the research was consistent in showing that the South African government has responded to the problem of HIV / AIDS in their country by launching a number of multi-disciplinary initiatives that are intended to promote awareness and educate the South African public concerning the dangers of HIV / AIDS and safe sex practice alternatives that can help them prevent infection. Unfortunately, none of these initiatives were shown to specifically target the types of problems that are endemic to mining camps, and additional research in this area is desperately needed.

Works Cited

Alegi, Peter. (2006, May 1), "We Are Fighting the World: A History of the Marashea Gangs in South Africa, 1947-1999." The International Journal of African Historical Studies 39(2):


Barz, Gregory and Cohen, Judah M. The Culture of AIDS in Africa: Hope and Healing in Music

and the Arts. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Boe, Hans-Petter and Crush, Jonathan. HIV / AIDS, Population Mobility and Migration in Southern Africa: Defining a Research and Policy Agenda. Pretoria: Regional HIV / AIDS

Programme for Southern Africa of the Netherlands' Embassy in Pretoria, 2005.

Hlaing, Kyaw Yin, Taylor, Robert H. And Than, Tin Maung. Beyond Politics to Societal

Imperatives. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2005.

Lewis, Milton and Bamber, Scott. Sex, Disease, and Society: A Comparative History of Sexually

Transmitted Diseases and HIV / AIDS in Asia and the Pacific. Westport, CT: Greenwood

Press, 1999.

"Operational Plan for Comprehensive HIV and AIDS Care, Management and Treatment for South Africa." (2003, November 19). South African Government Information.

[online] available:

Parker, Richard and Aggleton, Peter. Culture, Society and Sexuality: A Reader. London: UCL

Press, 1999.

Patton, Cindy. Last Served? Gendering the HIV Pandemic. London: Taylor & Francis, 1999.

"South African economy." (2013). CIA World Factbook. [online] available: https://www.

West, Bradley. (2000, Spring). "Around the World." Earth Island Journal 15(1): 18.

"Update on progress and achievements." (2013). South African Government Information.

[online] available:

Current Trends and Prevalence of HIV / AIDS in South African Mining Camps

Despite increasing concerning and a growing body of knowledge, the vulnerability to HIV infection of migrant people in Southern Africa remains poorly understood (Boe & Crush 11).

The mining industry is South Africa tends to employ contract workers (Boe & Crush 15).

A study of the prevalence of HIV among migrant and non-migrant mining workers in South Africa by Lurie et al. (1999) examined whether migrants were at higher risk for HIV than non-migrants, and to quantify the extent to which infections by migrants have been a factor in increasing HIV prevalence in rural areas. The study found migrant men to be 2.4 times more likely to be HIV infected than non-migrant men, 25.9 per cent compared to 12.7 per cent respectively (Lurie et al. 25). In addition, the Lurie et al. study identified an inordinately high prevalence rate for HIV among South Africa women in these settings. Overall 17.5 per cent of the women were HIV-infected and women whose partners were migrants were as likely to be HIV infected as women whose partners were not (Lurie et al. 26).

Studies on temporary and permanent residents in the mining town of Carletonville, South Africa, the largest gold mining complex in the world, reveal the conditions that render miners and the communities around them susceptible to HIV infection. The high prevalence of HIV among men and women in the surrounding community demonstrates the high risk faced by all members of a… [END OF PREVIEW]

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AIDS on South African Development.  (2013, August 26).  Retrieved August 20, 2019, from

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"AIDS on South African Development."  August 26, 2013.  Accessed August 20, 2019.