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The Impact of Public Testing for Human Immunodeficiency Virus

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  • Michael A. Boozer
  • Tomas J. Philipson
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    Abstract

    In this paper, we estimate the behavioral responses by individuals to the type of information-intervention a public human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing program would typify. A unique feature of the data we use is that the survey itself altered the allocation of information held by respondents by administrating a blood test for HIV as part of a longitudinal survey. Our framework for the demand for information on HIV implies that because only individuals who are surprised by the results of the intervention respond to it, in our case low-risk individuals who test HIV-positive or high-risk individuals who test HIV-negative, an information-intervention of this type may have surprising effects. Our framework also implies that looking just at the aggregate effects of an HIV testing program is a misleading indicator of the behavioral responsiveness of the average individual to the information intervention. We find that although the aggregate effect of the testing program is quite small, the effects disaggregated by private beliefs are consistent with information elastic behavior for the average individual. In addition, the subgroups of the population affected by a publicly subsidized testing program may have roughly offsetting behavioral responses, which may lead to little effect or possibly even perverse outcomes with regards to an objective of lowering disease transmission.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

    Volume (Year): 35 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 419-446

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    Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:35:y:2000:i:3:p:419-446

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    Web page: http://jhr.uwpress.org/

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    Cited by:
    1. Packel, Laura & Dow, William H. & de Walque, Damien & Isdahl, Zachary & Majura, Albert, 2012. "Sexual behavior change intentions and actions in the context of a randomized trial of a conditional cash transfer for HIV prevention in Tanzania," Policy Research Working Paper Series, The World Bank 5997, The World Bank.
    2. Thornton, Rebecca L., 2012. "HIV testing, subjective beliefs and economic behavior," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 300-313.
    3. Francis, Andrew M., 2008. "The economics of sexuality: The effect of HIV/AIDS on homosexual behavior in the United States," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 675-689, May.
    4. Joanne W. Hsu & Robert J. Willis, 2013. "Dementia risk and financial decision making by older households: the impact of information," Finance and Economics Discussion Series, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) 2013-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Olivier STERCK, 2011. "Why only one individual tests for HIV/AIDS among Sub-Saharan African Couples?," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales), Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) 2011024, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    6. Robert J. Brent, 2010. "A social cost-benefit criterion for evaluating Voluntary Counseling and Testing with an application to Tanzania," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(2), pages 154-172.
    7. Adeline Delavande & Dana Goldman & Neeraj Sood, 2007. "Criminal Prosecution and HIV-related Risky Behavior," NBER Working Papers 12903, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Baird, Sarah & Gong, Erick & McIntosh, Craig & Ozler, Berk, 2014. "The heterogeneous effects of HIV testing," Policy Research Working Paper Series, The World Bank 6823, The World Bank.
    9. Aureo de Paula & Gil Shapira & Petra E. Todd, 2008. "How Beliefs about HIV Status Affect Risky Behaviors: Evidence from Malawi1, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania 09-031, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Aug 2009.
    10. Aureo de Paula & Gil Shapira & Petra E. Todd, 2008. "How Beliefs About HIV Status affect Risky Behaviors: Evidence From Malawi, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania 08-041, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 02 Dec 2008.
    11. Susan Godlonton & Rebecca L. Thornton, 2013. "Learning from Others' HIV Testing: Updating Beliefs and Responding to Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 439-44, May.
    12. Adeline Delavande & Hans-Peter Kohler, 2012. "The Impact of HIV Testing on Subjective Expectations and Risky Behavior in Malawi," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 1011-1036, August.
    13. Neeraj Sood & Yanyu Wu, 2013. "The Impact of Insurance and HIV Treatment Technology on HIV Testing," NBER Working Papers 19397, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Monica J. Grant, 2008. "Children’s school participation and HIV/AIDS in rural Malawi:," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(45), pages 1603-1634, September.
    15. Aureo de Paula & Gil Shapira & Petra Todd, 2008. "How Beliefs about HIV Status Affect Risky Behaviors: Evidence from Malawi," PIER Working Paper Archive, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania 08-035, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.

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