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The Virgin HIV Puzzle: Can misreporting account for the high proportion of HIV cases in self-reported virgins?

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  • Deuchert, Eva

Abstract

The Demographic and Health Surveys from Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and Malawi reveal that a significant proportion of HIV infections in adolescent women occurred in women who claim to be virgin. Two possible conclusions arise from this observation: adolescent women misreport sexual status or non-sexual risk is more relevant than previously asserted. This paper uses a nonparametric model to estimate the proportion of HIV infections associated with sexual activity under different assumptions on data accuracy. It shows that there is an inverse relation between data accuracy and importance of sexual HIV transmission. If all adolescent women in the considered sub-sample correctly report sexual activity, 70% of HIV infections cannot be attributed to sexual HIV transmission. The model predicts that more than 95% of HIV infections are due to sexual HIV infections, if a substantial proportion of self-reported virgins (between 40 and 90%) misreport sexual status. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics in its series Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Zurich 2008 with number 10.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:gdec08:10

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Keywords: adolescent; HIV; misreporting; nonparametric modelling; sexual transmission;

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  1. Damien de Walque, 2007. "Sero-Discordant Couples in Five African Countries: Implications for Prevention Strategies," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 33(3), pages 501-523.
  2. Mark Gersovitz, 2005. "The HIV Epidemic in Four African Countries Seen through the Demographic and Health Surveys," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 14(2), pages 191-246, June.
  3. De Walque, Damien, 2004. "How does the impact of an HIV/AIDS information campaign vary with educational attainment ? Evidence from rural Uganda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3289, The World Bank.
  4. David E. Sahn & Stephen D. Younger & Garance Genicot, 2003. "The Demand for Health Care Services in Rural Tanzania," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 65(2), pages 241-260, 05.
  5. Emily Oster, 2005. "Sexually Transmitted Infections, Sexual Behavior, and the HIV/AIDS Epidemic," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 467-515, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Kasirye, Ibrahim, 2013. "HIV/AIDS sero-prevalence and socioeconomic status: Evidence from Uganda," Research Series 148952, Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC).

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