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The Heterogeneous Effects of HIV Testing

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Author Info

  • Sarah Baird

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Otago, New Zealand)

  • Erick Gong

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Middlebury College)

  • Craig McIntosh

    ()
    (School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, UC San Diego)

  • Berk Ozler

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Otago, New Zealand)

Abstract

An extensive multi-disciplinary literature examines the effects of learning one’s HIV status on subsequent risky sexual behaviors. However, many of these studies rely on nonexperimental designs; use self-reported outcome measures, or both. In this study, we investigate the effects of a randomly assigned Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) intervention on risky sexual behaviors and schooling investments among school-age females in Malawi. We find no overall effects on HIV, Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-2), or test scores at follow-up. However, receiving a HIV-positive test result causes a large increase in the probability of contracting HSV-2, with stronger effects among those surprised by the HIV-positive test results. Similarly, those surprised by HIV-negative test results see a significant improvement in achievement test scores, consistent with increased returns to investments in human capital. We view the finding on increased HSV-2 prevalence among HIV-positive individuals as a caution to the conventional wisdom that those who learn they are HIV-positive will adopt safer sexual practices.

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File URL: http://www.business.otago.ac.nz/econ/research/discussionpapers/DP_1310.pdf
File Function: First version, 2013
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Otago, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1310.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision: Jul 2013
Handle: RePEc:otg:wpaper:1310

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Robert Jensen, 2010. "The (Perceived) Returns to Education and the Demand for Schooling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(2), pages 515-548, May.
  4. 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.
  5. Baird, Sarah & Özler, Berk, 2012. "Examining the reliability of self-reported data on school participation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 89-93.
  6. 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.
  7. Anderson, Michael L., 2008. "Multiple Inference and Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(484), pages 1481-1495.
  8. Poulin, Michelle, 2007. "Sex, money, and premarital partnerships in southern Malawi," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(11), pages 2383-2393, December.
  9. Emily Oster & Ira Shoulson & E. Ray Dorsey, 2013. "Optimal Expectations and Limited Medical Testing: Evidence from Huntington Disease," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(2), pages 804-30, April.
  10. Baird, Sarah & Mcintosh, Craig & Ozler, Berk, 2010. "Cash or condition ? evidence from a cash transfer experiment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5259, The World Bank.
  11. David S. Lee, 2009. "Training, Wages, and Sample Selection: Estimating Sharp Bounds on Treatment Effects," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(3), pages 1071-1102.
  12. Thornton, Rebecca L., 2012. "HIV testing, subjective beliefs and economic behavior," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 300-313.
  13. Erick Gong, 2011. "HIV Testing and Risky Sexual Behavior," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 1101, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Dillon, Andrew & Friedman, Jed & Serneels, Pieter, 2014. "Health Information, Treatment, and Worker Productivity: Experimental Evidence from Malaria Testing and Treatment among Nigerian Sugarcane Cutters," IZA Discussion Papers 8074, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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