Government AIDS Policies and Public Opinion in Africa


Author/s (editor/s):

Jeremy Youde

Publication year:


Publication type:

Journal article

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Taylor & Francis

Jeremy Youde, ‘Government AIDS Policies and Public Opinion in Africa’, Politikon, 36(2) 2009: 219‒35.

The AIDS epidemic has exacted a terrible toll on the African continent, but little research has examined how Africans themselves feel about their governments’ responses to this health crisis. Using Afrobarometer survey data from 15 different sub-Saharan African states collected between 2002 and 2004, I examine the factors that lead to higher support for an individual government’s AIDS control efforts. The results suggest that, in some instances, support for a government’s AIDS policies may simply be a proxy for more generalized support for the government. They also suggest that governments that can demonstrate competency in one area (like economic management) may have more leeway from the public to address an issue like AIDS. While HIV/AIDS certainly still carries a stigma in certain communities throughout the continent, the survey results may suggest that AIDS policies are, for better or worse, entering the realm of ‘normal’ politics.

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