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Why only one individual tests for HIV/AIDS among Sub-Saharan African Couples?

  • Olivier STERCK

    ()

    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))

Voluntary Testing and Counseling (VTC) is a popular method for fighting the epidemic of HIV/AIDS. The purpose of VTC is to reduce the incidence of the virus in a twofold manner. First, testing provides access to health care and antiretroviral therapies (ARV) that diminish the transmission rate of the virus. Second, counseling would encourage safer behavior for both individuals who test HIV-negative and want to avoid a dangerous disease, and altruistic individuals who test HIV-positive and want to protect the others. Surprisingly, empirical evidence from DHS surveys in Sub-Saharan Africa shows that testing services are underused. Moreover, it is rare that both partners of a couple test for HIV. In this paper, I construct a behavioral model explaining how misperceptions of the riskiness of HIV/AIDS may induce, at most, one individual in the couple to test. I show that the correction of wrong beliefs thanks to specific information campaigns may be sufficient to induce testing of both partners.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) with number 2011024.

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Length: 41
Date of creation: 05 Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvir:2011024
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  1. Drew Fudenberg & David K Levine, 2005. "A Dual Self Model of Impulse Control," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000000876, David K. Levine.
  2. W. Pesendorfer & F. Gul, 1999. "Self-Control and the Theory of Consumption," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 99f2, Economics Department, Princeton University.
  3. Olivier STERCK, 2010. "Should prevention campaigns disclose the transmission rate of HIV/AIDS? Theory and evidence from Burundi," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2010042, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  4. Philipson, Tomas & Posner, Richard A, 1994. "Public Spending on AIDS Education: An Economic Analysis," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 17-38, April.
  5. 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.
  6. H. M. Shefrin & Richard Thaler, 1977. "An Economic Theory of Self-Control," NBER Working Papers 0208, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Angotti, Nicole & Bula, Agatha & Gaydosh, Lauren & Kimchi, Eitan Zeev & Thornton, Rebecca L. & Yeatman, Sara E., 2009. "Increasing the acceptability of HIV counseling and testing with three C's: Convenience, confidentiality and credibility," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(12), pages 2263-2270, June.
  9. Laibson, David, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
  10. Aureo de Paula & Gil Shapira & Petra E. Todd, 2008. "How Beliefs about HIV Status Affect Risky Behaviors: Evidence from Malawi, Fifth Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 10-023, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 10 Jul 2010.
  11. W. Pesendorfer & F. Gul, 1999. "Temptation and Self-Control," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 99f1, Economics Department, Princeton University.
  12. 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.
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