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HIV/AIDS-related Expectations and Risky Sexual Behavior in Malawi


  • Adeline Delavande

    (RAND Corporation)


We use probabilistic expectations data elicited from survey respondents in rural Malawi to investigate how risky sexual behavior may be influenced by individuals’ survival expectations, which in turn depend on the perceived impact of HIV/AIDS on survival; expectations about own and partner’s HIV status; and expectations about HIV transmission rates. We find that subjective expectations play an important role in determining the decision to have multiple sexual partners. Using our estimated parameters, we simulate the impact of various policies that would influence expectations. An information campaign on mortality risk would decrease risky sexual behavior, while an information campaign on HIV transmission risks, which tend to be overestimated by respondents, would actually increase risky behavior. Also, the expansion of anti-retroviral therapy (ART) treatments to all individuals sick with AIDS would increase risky sexual behavior among HIV-negative individuals or those who have not been tested because individuals are aware that ART increases life expectancy, and thus reduces the cost of becoming HIV-positive.

Suggested Citation

  • Adeline Delavande, 2012. "HIV/AIDS-related Expectations and Risky Sexual Behavior in Malawi," 2012 Meeting Papers 90, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:90

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Darius Lakdawalla & Neeraj Sood & Dana Goldman, 2006. "HIV Breakthroughs and Risky Sexual Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(3), pages 1063-1102.
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    11. 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.
    12. Chimbiri, Agnes M., 2007. "The condom is an 'intruder' in marriage: Evidence from rural Malawi," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(5), pages 1102-1115, March.
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