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Masculine sex ratios, population age structure and the potential spread of HIV in China

Author

Listed:
  • M. Giovanna Merli

    (Duke University)

  • Sara Hertog

    (United Nations)

Abstract

There is much speculation regarding the contribution of China’s changing demography to the spread of HIV/AIDS. We employ a bio-behavioral macrosimulation model of the heterosexual spread of HIV/AIDS to evaluate the roles that China’s unique demographic conditions -- (1) masculine sex ratios at birth and (2) a population age structure that reflects rapid fertility decline since the 1970’s -- play in altering the market for sexual partners, thereby potentially fueling an increase in behaviors associated with greater risk of HIV infection. We first simulate the relative contributions of the sex ratio at birth and the population age structure to the oversupply of males in the market for sexual partners and show that the sex ratio at birth only aggravates the severe oversupply of males which is primarily a consequence of the population age structure. We then examine the potential consequences of this demographic distortion for the spread of HIV infection and show that, to the extent that males adapt to the dearth of suitable female partners by seeking unprotected sexual contacts with female sex workers, the impact of the oversupply of males in the sexual partnership market on the spread of HIV will be severe.

Suggested Citation

  • M. Giovanna Merli & Sara Hertog, 2010. "Masculine sex ratios, population age structure and the potential spread of HIV in China," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 22(3), pages 63-94, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:22:y:2010:i:3
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    File URL: https://www.demographic-research.org/volumes/vol22/3/22-3.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert D. Retherford & Minja Kim Choe & Jiajian Chen & Li Xiru & Cui Hongyan, 2005. "How Far Has Fertility in China Really Declined?," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 31(1), pages 57-84, March.
    2. FFF1Michael NNN1Bracher & FFF2Gigi NNN2Santow & FFF2Susan NNN2Watkins, 2003. ""Moving" and Marrying," Demographic Research Special Collections, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 1(7), pages 207-246, September.
    3. Lena Edlund & Evelyn Korn, 2002. "A Theory of Prostitution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 181-214, February.
    4. P. H. Chau & Paul S. F. Yip & Jisheng S. Cui, 2003. "Reconstructing the incidence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in Hong Kong by using data from HIV positive tests and diagnoses of acquired immune deficiency syndrome," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series C, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 52(2), pages 237-248, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    China; HIV/AIDS; migration; modelling; sex ratio; sexual behavior;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

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