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The Influence of Socio-Economic Determinants on HIV Prevalence in South Africa


  • Given Mutinta

    (University of KwaZulu-Natal, SOUTH AFRICA)

  • Jeff Gow

    () (University of Southern Queensland, AUSTRALIA)

  • Gavin George

    (University of KwaZulu-Natal, SOUTH AFRICA)

  • Kelvin Kunda

    (University of KwaZulu-Natal, SOUTH AFRICA)

  • Katarina Ojteg

    (University of Lund, SWEDEN)


AIDS, caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is one of the major hindrances to development in sub Saharan Africa. 18% of the South African population is infected with HIV. In the literature, little attention has been given to the socio-economic context in which people live to explain observed prevalence levels. This study uses an economic model of risky sexual behaviour to investigate the correlation between different socio-economic attributes and HIV prevalence in South Africa. The empirical results show that HIV prevalence is positively correlated with level of education, marriage and the proportion of female headed households, and negatively correlated with average age, proportion of young people, the proportion of women and fertility rates. The estimated variables accounted for 88% of the relationship to the observed levels of HIV prevalence.

Suggested Citation

  • Given Mutinta & Jeff Gow & Gavin George & Kelvin Kunda & Katarina Ojteg, 2011. "The Influence of Socio-Economic Determinants on HIV Prevalence in South Africa," Review of Economics & Finance, Better Advances Press, Canada, vol. 1, pages 96-106, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bap:journl:110508

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Edoardo Gaffeo, 2003. "The Economics of HIV/AIDS: A Survey," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 21(1), pages 27-49, January.
    2. Christine R. Harris & Michael Jenkins & Dale Glaser, 2006. "Gender differences in risk assessment: Why do women take fewer risks than men?," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 1, pages 48-63, July.
    3. Najma Shaikh & Haroon Bhorat, 2005. "Poverty And Labour Market Markers Of Hiv Positive Households In South Africa: An Exploratory Methodological Analysis," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 73(s1), pages 578-599, December.
    4. Jane Fortson, 2008. "The gradient in sub-saharan Africa: Socioeconomic status and HIV/AIDS," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 45(2), pages 303-322, May.
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    More about this item


    HIV/AIDS; Determinants; Prevalence; South Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General


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