More than 40 million people worldwide have been infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) since it was first reported in 1981. Over 25 million of these have lost their lives to the disease. Most of the studies related to HIV/AIDS have been conducted in stable populations across the globe. Few of these studies have been devoted to displaced populations, particularly those in areas of conflict. Displaced populations that are forced to leave their homes in most cases find themselves in unfamiliar territories, often poor and hungry. Many of them become refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs). The objective of this review was to address a number of different social determinants of HIV/AIDS in displaced populations in areas of conflict. A comprehensive review of peer reviewed literature published in English between 1990 and 2010 obtained through an open search of PUBMED database using key words such as “HIV and war”, “HIV/AIDS and conflict”, “AIDS and security” was conducted. Twelve different studies that looked at the implications of HIV/AIDS in conflict or displaced populations were retrieved. The review revealed that there were various factors influencing conflict and HIV/AIDS such as forced population displacement, breakdown of traditional sexual norms, lack of health infrastructure, and poverty and powerlessness of women and children. Social determinants of increased HIV/AIDS prevalence in displaced populations are scarcity of food, poverty, insecurity of displaced populations and gender power differentials.
HIV/AIDS, conflict, security, internally displaced people, refugees