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Why did HIV decline in Uganda?


  • Marcella M. Alsan
  • David M. Cutler


Uganda is widely viewed as a public health success for curtailing its HIV/AIDS epidemic in the early 1990s. We investigate the factors contributing to this decline. We first build a model of HIV transmission. Calibration of the model indicates that reduced pre-marital sexual activity among young women is the most important factor in the decline in HIV. We next explore what led young women to change their behavior. We estimate that approximately one-third the reduction in HIV in this cohort and almost 20 percent of the overall HIV decline was due to a gender-targeted education policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcella M. Alsan & David M. Cutler, 2010. "Why did HIV decline in Uganda?," NBER Working Papers 16171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16171
    Note: HC HE

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sarah Baird & Ephraim Chirwa & Craig McIntosh & Berk Özler, 2010. "The short‐term impacts of a schooling conditional cash transfer program on the sexual behavior of young women," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(S1), pages 55-68, September.
    2. Chinhui Juhn & Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan & Belgi Turan, 2013. "HIV and fertility in Africa: first evidence from population-based surveys," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(3), pages 835-853, July.
    3. Pascaline Dupas, 2011. "Do Teenagers Respond to HIV Risk Information? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 1-34, January.
    4. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2011. "The Impact of the AIDS Pandemic on Health Services in Africa: Evidence from Demographic and Health Surveys," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(2), pages 675-697, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alsan, Marcella M. & Cutler, David M., 2013. "Girls’ education and HIV risk: Evidence from Uganda," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 863-872.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa


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