HIV and AIDS regional study policy brief 7/2005: Impact of HIV and AIDS on agriculture and food security in Zimbabwe

About 70 percent of SADC citizens derive their household food security from crops and livestock. The adverse effects of HIV and AIDS in the region have resulted in labour deficits and the sale of agricultural produce to meet costs incurred by the disease. In Zimbabwe, HIV and AIDS is now the leading cause of deaths among adults in the prime of their working and parenting lives. At least 1.8 million people are infected with the disease, 70% of hospital admissions are HIV and AIDS related and 3200 people die each week of AIDS related illness. Though the official data shows that the rate of infections has declined from 38 percent to about 24.6 percent, the impact of the disease on the economic and social fabric of Zimbabwe has been astounding.