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HIV Testing and Risky Sexual Behavior

Erick Gong ()

Middlebury College Working Paper Series from Middlebury College, Department of Economics

Abstract: Using data from a study that randomly assigns offers of HIV testing in two urban centers in East Africa, I examine the effects of testing, taking into account people's beliefs of their HIV status prior to testing. I objectively measure risky sexual behavior using sexually transmitted infections (ÒSTIsÓ) contracted during the 6 month study as proxies. Individuals surprised by an HIV-positive test are over nine times more likely to contract an STI indicating an increase in risky sexual behavior. Individuals surprised by an HIV-negative test are 84% less likely to contract an STI indicating a decrease in risky sexual behavior. Using these estimates, I simulate the effects of testing on new HIV infections. I find the overall number of HIV infections increases by 30% when people are tested compared to when they are unaware of their status - an unintended consequence of testing.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS; risk behavior; information; beliefs (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D84 I18 O12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 71 pages
Date: 2011-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr, nep-cis, nep-exp and nep-hea
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (7)

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:mdl:mdlpap:1101

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