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Keywords:

  • [Ju/’hoansi;
  • San;
  • food insecurity;
  • HIV/AIDS;
  • poverty;
  • remote settlements;
  • food aid programs]

This article will address the relationships among development, nutritional well-being, and HIV/AIDS in a remote area of southern Africa: the northwestern Kalahari Desert region of the Republic of Botswana and the adjacent Nyae Nyae region of northeastern Namibia. According to the United Nations AIDS Program (UNAIDS) and other organizations, Botswana and Namibia have some of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world. Until relatively recently, however, the HIV/AIDS rates in remote areas of these two countries were lower than the national averages. A major question addressed in this article is why this might be the case. Major transformations have occurred in southern Africa with globalization, economic development, political shifts, migration, and environmental change. While development programs in Botswana and Namibia have had some positive effects in remote areas in terms of increasing access to social and physical infrastructure and, in some cases, to employment and income generating opportunities, the livelihoods and health statuses of some of the people in these areas have declined. This article explores some of the factors that may have contributed to these changes.