HIV Testing and Risky Sexual Behavior
AbstractUsing data from a study that randomly assigns offers of HIV testing in two urban centers in East Africa, I examine the effects of testing, taking into account people's beliefs of their HIV status prior to testing. I objectively measure risky sexual behavior using sexually transmitted infections (ÒSTIsÓ) contracted during the 6 month study as proxies. Individuals surprised by an HIV-positive test are over nine times more likely to contract an STI indicating an increase in risky sexual behavior. Individuals surprised by an HIV-negative test are 84% less likely to contract an STI indicating a decrease in risky sexual behavior. Using these estimates, I simulate the effects of testing on new HIV infections. I find the overall number of HIV infections increases by 30% when people are tested compared to when they are unaware of their status - an unintended consequence of testing.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Middlebury College, Department of Economics in its series Middlebury College Working Paper Series with number 1101.
Length: 71 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
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HIV/AIDS; risk behavior; information; beliefs;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
- I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
- O12 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2011-10-22 (Africa)
- NEP-ALL-2011-10-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-CIS-2011-10-22 (Confederation of Independent States)
- NEP-EXP-2011-10-22 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-HEA-2011-10-22 (Health Economics)
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