The Heterogeneous Effects of HIV Testing

38 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Sarah Baird

Sarah Baird

George Washington University - School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS)

Erick Gong

Middlebury College

Craig McIntosh

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS)

Berk Ozler

World Bank - Development Economics Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: March 1, 2014

Abstract

An extensive multi-disciplinary literature examines the effects of learning one's HIV status on subsequent risky sexual behaviors. However, many of these studies rely on non-experimental designs; use self-reported outcome measures, or both. This study investigates the effects of a randomly assigned home based HIV testing and counseling (HTC) intervention on risky sexual behaviors and schooling investments among school-age females in Malawi. The study finds no overall effects on HIV, Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-2), or achievement test scores at follow-up. However, among the small group of individuals who tested positive for HIV, a large increase in the probability of contracting HSV-2 is found, with this effect stronger among those surprised by their test results. Similarly, those surprised by HIV-negative test results see a significant improvement in achievement test scores, consistent with increased returns to investments in human capital. The finding of increased HSV-2 prevalence among HIV-positive individuals suggests that the conventional wisdom that those who learn they are HIV-positive will adopt safer sexual practices should be treated with caution.

Keywords: Disease Control & Prevention, Population Policies, HIV AIDS, Gender and Health, HIV AIDS and Business

Suggested Citation

Baird, Sarah and Gong, Erick and McIntosh, Craig and Ozler, Berk, The Heterogeneous Effects of HIV Testing (March 1, 2014). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 6823. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2418725

Sarah Baird

George Washington University - School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS) ( email )

2300 I Street, NW
Ross Hall 106
Washington, DC 20037
United States

Erick Gong

Middlebury College ( email )

Middlebury, VT 05753
United States

Craig McIntosh

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
United States

Berk Ozler

World Bank - Development Economics Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/bozler

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