The Impact of the AIDS Pandemic on Health Services in Africa: Evidence from Demographic and Health Surveys

Anne Case, Christina Paxson

NBER Working Paper No. 15000
Issued in May 2009
NBER Program(s):Economics of Aging, Children, Health Care

We document the impact of the AIDS crisis on non-AIDS related health services in fourteen sub-Saharan African countries. Using multiple waves of Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) for each country, we examine antenatal care, birth deliveries, and rates of immunization for children born between 1988 and 2005. We find deterioration in nearly all of these dimensions of health care over this period. The most recent DHS survey for each country collected data on HIV prevalence, which allows us to examine the association between HIV burden and health care. We find that erosion of health services is highly correlated with increases in AIDS prevalence. Regions of countries that have light AIDS burdens have witnessed small or no declines in health care, using the measures noted above, while those regions currently shouldering the heaviest burdens have seen the largest erosion in treatment for pregnant women and children. Using semi-parametric techniques, we can date the beginning of the divergence in health services between high and low HIV regions to the mid-1990s.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w15000

Published: Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2011. "The Impact of the AIDS Pandemic on Health Services in Africa: Evidence from Demographic and Health Surveys," Demography, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 675-697, May. citation courtesy of

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