Sexually Transmitted Infections, Behavior Change and the Hiv/Aids Epidemic

67 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2004

See all articles by Emily F. Oster

Emily F. Oster

University of Chicago - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: June 2004

Abstract

Forty million people are infected with HIV worldwide; twenty-five million of them are in Sub-Saharan Africa. This paper addresses the question of why Africa has been so heavily affected by HIV, and what explains the variation within Africa. I present a model that decomposes epidemic level into differences in sexual behavior and differences in viral transmission rates. I argue, using evidence drawn from the existing medical literature, that Africa has very high HIV transmission rates, likely due to high rates of other untreated sexually transmitted infections. The difference in transmission is large enough to explain the observed difference in prevalence between the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa. The model also provides a good fit to cross-country data within Africa and suggests that, in contrast to the intra-continental results, differences within that continent can be attributed to difference in sexual behavior and epidemic timing. The results indicate that optimal policy interventions would focus on decreasing transmission rates within Africa, possibly by treating other untreated sexually transmitted infections.

Keywords: HIV, AIDS, Sexual behavior, Cost-effectiveness, Sub-Saharan Africa, microsimulation

JEL Classification: H51, I12, I18, J11

Suggested Citation

Oster, Emily F., Sexually Transmitted Infections, Behavior Change and the Hiv/Aids Epidemic (June 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=556149 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.556149

Emily F. Oster (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
146
Abstract Views
2,184
rank
216,662
PlumX Metrics