Reproductive Health and Behaviour

HIV/AIDS and Poverty in Africa

Published In: Reproductive Health, Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction in Africa: Frameworks of Analysis / Ajakaiye O. and Mwabu, G. ed. (Nairobi, Kenya: University of Nairobi Press and African Economic Consortium (AERC), 2010), p. 251-322

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2010

by Peter Glick

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This paper examines the complex linkages of poverty, reproductive/sexual health and behavior, and HIV/AIDS in Africa. It addresses the following questions: (1) what have we learned to date about these links and what are the gaps in knowledge to be addressed by further research; (2) what is known about the effectiveness for HIV prevention of reproductive health and HIV/AIDS interventions and policies in Africa; and (3) what are the appropriate methodological approaches to research on these questions. With regard to what has been learned so far, the paper pays considerable attention in particular to the evidence regarding the impacts of a range of HIV interventions on risk behaviors and HIV incidence. Other sections review the extensive microeconomic literature on the impacts of AIDS on households and children in Africa and the effects of the epidemic on sexual risk behavior and fertility decisions. With regard to methodology, the paper assesses the approaches used in the literature to deal with, among other things, the problem of self-selection and non-randomness in the placement of HIV and reproductive health programs. Data requirements for different research questions are discussed, and an effort is made to assess what researchers can learn from existing sources such as Demographic and Health Surveys.

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