HIV and socioeconomic status revisited: a time-varying empirical investigation

Daniela Iorio, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Raul Santaeulalia-Llopis, Washington University in St. Louis

Using data from the Demographic and Health Surveys in Sub-Saharan Africa we document the existence of a non-stationary relationship between individual HIV status and socioeconomic status. We exploit the cross-country variation of individual measures of HIV and socioeconomic status (such as educational attainment and wealth) and control for country-specific aggregate measures of the stage of the HIV epidemics, the stage of the demographic transition by age-specific groups and the stage of economic development. We work under the hypothesis that at early stages of the HIV epidemics, highly educated individuals are more likely to get infected because of higher contact exposure. However, as the HIV epidemics progresses, they change faster - with respect to less educated individuals - their behavior toward prevention technologies. We intend to identify whether this is due to resources (information access or social networks) or preferences (less reluctant to use condoms or secure the number of partners).

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Reproductive health, HIV-AIDS, poverty and gender