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Why only one individual tests for HIV/AIDS among Sub-Saharan African Couples?

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  • Olivier STERCK

    ()
    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))

Abstract

Voluntary Testing and Counseling (VTC) is a popular method for fighting the epidemic of HIV/AIDS. The purpose of VTC is to reduce the incidence of the virus in a twofold manner. First, testing provides access to health care and antiretroviral therapies (ARV) that diminish the transmission rate of the virus. Second, counseling would encourage safer behavior for both individuals who test HIV-negative and want to avoid a dangerous disease, and altruistic individuals who test HIV-positive and want to protect the others. Surprisingly, empirical evidence from DHS surveys in Sub-Saharan Africa shows that testing services are underused. Moreover, it is rare that both partners of a couple test for HIV. In this paper, I construct a behavioral model explaining how misperceptions of the riskiness of HIV/AIDS may induce, at most, one individual in the couple to test. I show that the correction of wrong beliefs thanks to specific information campaigns may be sufficient to induce testing of both partners.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 2011024.

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Length: 41
Date of creation: 05 Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2011024

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Keywords: HIV/AIDS; transmission rate; testing; prevention; risk perception; condom; beliefs; observability;

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References

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  1. Olivier STERCK, 2010. "Should prevention campaigns disclose the transmission rate of HIV/AIDS? Theory and evidence from Burundi," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2010042, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  2. H. M. Shefrin & Richard Thaler, 1977. "An Economic Theory of Self-Control," NBER Working Papers 0208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2001. "Temptation and Self-Control," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1403-1435, November.
  4. Faruk Gul & Wolfgang Pesendorfer, 2004. "Self-Control and the Theory of Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 119-158, 01.
  5. Philipson, Tomas & Posner, Richard A, 1994. "Public Spending on AIDS Education: An Economic Analysis," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 17-38, April.
  6. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David, 2006. "A Dual-Self Model of Impulse Control," Scholarly Articles 3196335, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Aureo de Paula & Gil Shapira & Petra E. Todd, 2010. "How Beliefs about HIV Status Affect Risky Behaviors: Evidence from Malawi, Sixth Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 11-005, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 21 Feb 2011.
  8. Adeline Delavande & Hans-Peter Kohler, 2012. "The Impact of HIV Testing on Subjective Expectations and Risky Behavior in Malawi," Demography, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 1011-1036, August.
  9. Michael A. Boozer & Tomas J. Philipson, 2000. "The Impact of Public Testing for Human Immunodeficiency Virus," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(3), pages 419-446.
  10. Angotti, Nicole & Bula, Agatha & Gaydosh, Lauren & Kimchi, Eitan Zeev & Thornton, Rebecca L. & Yeatman, Sara E., 2009. "Increasing the acceptability of HIV counseling and testing with three C's: Convenience, confidentiality and credibility," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(12), pages 2263-2270, June.
  11. Laibson, David I., 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," Scholarly Articles 4481499, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Rebecca L. Thornton, 2008. "The Demand for, and Impact of, Learning HIV Status," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1829-63, December.
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