HIV/AIDS is a global pandemic with critical demographic, economic, and social implications. This book outlines a vicious circle between HIV/AIDS, poverty and high-risk behaviour. In this vicious circle (the poverty-HIV/AIDS cycle), people living with HIV/AIDS are especially vulnerable to poverty, the poor are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviour such as commercial sex work, and high-risk behaviour in turn makes people susceptible to HIV infection. Empirical support for the existence of this cycle is established by examining whether rural Northeast Thailand exhibits characteristics that would support its existence. The key relationships that define this cycle are confirmed using survey data from Khon Kaen province in Northeast Thailand. Finally, the research investigates the potential effects on the poverty-HIV/AIDS cycle of an ongoing development program. This program uses rural development and the provision of jobs in rural areas to improve income generation for the poor and reduce rural-urban migration, thereby potentially reducing the spread of HIV.
Michael Cameron, PhD, is a lecturer at Department of Economics, University of Waikato and a research fellow at Population Studies Centre, University of Waikato. His current research interests include the interrelationships between population, health and development issues, including the economics of poverty, migration, and HIV/AIDS.