NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

HIV Breakthroughs and Risk Sexual Behavior

Dana Goldman, Darius Lakdawalla, Neeraj Sood

NBER Working Paper No. 10516
Issued in May 2004
NBER Program(s):   HE

Recent breakthroughs in the treatment of HIV have coincided with an increase in infection rates and an eventual slowing of reductions in HIV mortality. These trends may be causally related, if treatment improves the health and functional status of HIV+ individuals and allows them to engage in more sexual risk-taking. We examine this hypothesis empirically using access to health insurance as an instrument for treatment status. We find that treatment results in more sexual risk-taking by HIV+ adults, and possibly more of other risky behaviors like drug abuse. This relationship implies that breakthroughs in treating an incurable disease like HIV can increase precautionary behavior by the uninfected and thus reduce welfare. We also show that, in the presence of this effect, treatment and prevention are social complements for incurable diseases, even though they are substitutes for curable ones. Finally, there is less under-provision of treatment for an incurable disease than a curable one, because of the negative externalities associated with treating an incurable disease.

download in pdf format
   (415 K)

email paper

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

This paper is available as PDF (415 K) or via email.

This paper was revised on November 18, 2005

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w10516

Published: Neeraj Sood & Dana Goldman, 2006. "HIV Breakthroughs and Risky Sexual Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(3), pages 1063-1102, 08.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Philipson w7037 Economic Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases
Cutler, Glaeser, and Shapiro w9446 Why Have Americans Become More Obese?
Oster w13049 HIV and Sexual Behavior Change: Why Not Africa?
Bhattacharya, Goldman, and Sood w9346 The Link Between Public and Private Insurance and HIV-Related Mortality
Lakdawalla and Sood w13501 The Welfare Effects of Public Drug Insurance
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us