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HIV Testing, Behavior Change, and the Transition to Adulthood in Malawi

Kathleen Beegle, Michelle Poulin and Gil Shapira ()

Economic Development and Cultural Change, 2015, vol. 63, issue 4, 665 - 684

Abstract: For young adults living in countries with AIDS epidemics, getting an HIV test may influence near-term decisions, such as when to leave school, when to marry, and when to have a first child. These behaviors, which define the transition from adolescence to adulthood, have long-term implications for well-being and directly affect a person's risk of contracting HIV. Using an experimental design embedded in a panel survey from Malawi, this study assesses how HIV voluntary counseling and testing of young adults affects these decisions. The results show a negligible intent-to-treat effect of HIV testing on behaviors. There is some suggestive evidence, however, of a differential response by wealth and by prior beliefs about one's HIV status.

Date: 2015
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