Securitization of HIV/AIDS in Context: Gendered Vulnerability in Burundi

In this article, it is argued that concerns about the impact of HIV/AIDS on national and international security do not adequately address the ways in which people, particularly women, are made vulnerable to HIV/AIDS in conflicts. In fact, policies inspired by the security framing of HIV/AIDS can engender new vulnerabilities in post-conflict contexts. The article analyses the ways in which gender relations create vulnerabilities for various groups when such relations are put under pressure during periods of conflict. Drawing on research conducted in Burundi, the article argues that postulated links between security and HIV/AIDS fail to take into account the vulnerability structures that exist in societies, the ways in which these are instrumentalized during conflict and in post-conflict contexts, and how they are also maintained and changed as a result of people’s experiences during conflict.