In sub-Saharan Africa, HIV/AIDS and violent conflict interact to shape population health and development in dramatic ways. HIV/AIDS can create conditions conducive to conflict. Conflict can affect the epidemiology of HIV/AIDS. Conflict is generally understood to accelerate HIV transmission, but this view is simplistic and disregards complex interrelationships between factors that can inhibit and accelerate the spread of HIV in conflict and post conflict settings, respectively. This paper provides a framework for understanding these factors and discusses their implications for policy formulation and program planning in conflict-affected settings.