Setting Priorities for HIV/AIDS Interventions
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Setting Priorities for HIV/AIDS Interventions

A Cost–Benefit Approach

Robert J. Brent

HIV/AIDS is much too complex a phenomenon to be understood only by reference to common sense and ethical codes. This book presents the cost–benefit analysis (CBA) framework in a well-researched and accessible manner to ensure that the most important considerations are recognized and incorporated.
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Chapter 13: Income as a Factor Raising HIV Rates

Robert J. Brent


Even if one accepts that HIV is primarily a hunger issue in SSA, this is not the end of the story because other factors do play independent, even if lesser, roles, and these other factors could have secondary roles in so far as they first impact hunger and then go on to influence HIV. As we shall see, there are three other contributing causes of HIV that need separate examination: income, education and religion. We devote a chapter to each of the three factors, starting with income in this chapter, once we have described their joint impact. INCOME, EDUCATION AND RELIGION AS DETERMINANTS OF HIV IN SSA Brent (2006) undertook a statistical study of HIV rates in 31 SSA countries. His dependent variable was the national female adult prevalence rate. Among the findings were these three statistically significant effects: ● ● ● the higher the income of the country, the higher the HIV rate in that country; the more females that were enrolled in schools, whether primary or secondary, the higher the HIV rate; the greater the share of the population that was Muslim, the lower the country’s HIV rate. We will subsequently attempt to analyze each fact separately. But, at this stage we just want to point out that these three factors were highly interconnected in the results. To see this, consider two of the countries. At one extreme was South Africa, which had one of the highest HIV rates (over 20 percent). It was one of the richest in the subcontinent....

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