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HIV Breakthroughs and Risky Sexual Behavior

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  • Neeraj Sood
  • Dana Goldman

Abstract

Recent HIV treatment breakthroughs have lowered HIV mortality in the United States, but have also coincided with increased HIV incidence. We argue that these trends are causally linked, because new treatments have improved health and survival for the HIV+, increased their sexual activity, and thus facilitated HIV's spread. Using variation in state-level Medicaid eligibility rules as an instrument for HIV treatment, we find that treating HIV+ individuals more than doubles their number of sex partners. A change of this magnitude would increase infection risk by at least 44 percent for the HIV-negative and likely have lowered their expected welfare. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 121 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (08)
Pages: 1063-1102

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:121:y:2006:i:3:p:1063-1102

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  1. Charles R. Nelson & Richard Startz, 1988. "Some Further Results on the Exact Small Sample Properties of the Instrumental Variable Estimator," NBER Technical Working Papers 0068, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  3. Philipson, Tomas, 2000. "Economic epidemiology and infectious diseases," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 33, pages 1761-1799 Elsevier.
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