Public Opinion and Support for Government AIDS Policies in Sub-Saharan Africa

Social Science & Medicine

Author/s (editor/s):

Jeremy Youde

Publication year:


Publication type:

Journal article

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Social Science & Medicine

Jeremy Youde, ‘Public Opinion and Support for Government AIDS Policies in Sub-Saharan Africa’, Social Science & Medicine, 74(1) 2012: 52‒7.

Based on data from Afrobarometer’s 2008–2009 public opinion surveys in 20 sub-Saharan African states, this article examines the extent of support for government AIDS policies. While many international and nongovernmental organizations have criticized African governments for failing to implement comprehensive HIV/AIDS policies, survey data shows that citizens have generally positive assessments of their governments’ responses. The findings demonstrate that support for a government’s AIDS policies arises less from demographic characteristics and more from experiences with and perceptions of the government’s capabilities. In particular, those in better economic circumstances and those who approve of the president’s job performance show particularly strong support for their government’s AIDS policies. This may suggest that leaders are exhibiting the political will necessary to implement holistic AIDS policies and receiving support for them, but it may also suggest respondents are not differentiating between support for the government as a whole and support for particular policy areas.

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