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HIV Testing and Risky Sexual Behavior

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  • Erick Gong

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Abstract

Using data from a study that randomly assigns offers of HIV testing in two urban centers in East Africa, I examine the effects of testing, taking into account people's beliefs of their HIV status prior to testing. I objectively measure risky sexual behavior using sexually transmitted infections (ÒSTIsÓ) contracted during the 6 month study as proxies. Individuals surprised by an HIV-positive test are over nine times more likely to contract an STI indicating an increase in risky sexual behavior. Individuals surprised by an HIV-negative test are 84% less likely to contract an STI indicating a decrease in risky sexual behavior. Using these estimates, I simulate the effects of testing on new HIV infections. I find the overall number of HIV infections increases by 30% when people are tested compared to when they are unaware of their status - an unintended consequence of testing.

Suggested Citation

  • Erick Gong, 2011. "HIV Testing and Risky Sexual Behavior," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 1101, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mdl:mdlpap:1101
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    File URL: http://www.middlebury.edu/services/econ/repec/mdl/ancoec/1101.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Denizer, Cevdet & Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart, 2013. "Good countries or good projects? Macro and micro correlates of World Bank project performance," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 288-302.
    2. Aart Kraay & Peter Murrell, 2016. "Misunderestimating Corruption," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 455-466, July.
    3. Lori Bennear & Alessandro Tarozzi & Alexander Pfaff & H. B. Soumya & Kazi Matin Ahmed & Alexander van Geen, 2010. "Bright Lines, Risk Beliefs, and Risk Avoidance: Evidence from a Randomized Intervention in Bangladesh," Working Papers 10-77, Duke University, Department of Economics.
    4. Baird, Sarah & Gong, Erick & McIntosh, Craig & Özler, Berk, 2014. "The heterogeneous effects of HIV testing," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 98-112.
    5. Bennett, Daniel & Chiang, Chun-Fang & Malani, Anup, 2015. "Learning during a crisis: The SARS epidemic in Taiwan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 1-18.
    6. Arimoto, Yutaka & Ito, Seiro & Kudo, Yuya & Tsukada, Kazunari, 2013. "Stigma, Social Relationship and HIV Testing in the Workplace: Evidence from South Africa," CEI Working Paper Series 2012-06, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    HIV/AIDS; risk behavior; information; beliefs;

    JEL classification:

    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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