Does AIDS Treatment Stimulate Negative Behavioral Response? A Field Experiment in South Africa

Plamen Nikolov, Harvard University

South Africa faces one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world with estimated HIV prevalence among the adult population (ages 15-49) at 18.3% in mid-2006 approximately 4.8 million adults living with HIV. AIDS treatment (ARV) offers promise as an effective policy intervention to improve the lives of the nearly 6 million South Africans who are HIV+ by offering dramatic gains in physical health and increases in life expectancy. Using a field experiment, I exploit data form South Africa to study the behavioral impact of ARV provision. We test empirically both for positive and negative behavioral responses to a large AIDS treatment program in South Africa.

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Presented in Session 27: Sexual Behavior and STIs