"How Beliefs About HIV Status Affect Risky Behaviors: Evidence from Malawi", Second Version

This paper examines how beliefs about own HIV status affect sexual behavior. Risky behavior is measured as the propensity to engage in extramarital affairs or not use condoms. The empirical analysis is based on 2004 and 2006 data from the Malawi Diffusion and Ideational Change Project. Controlling for endogeneity between beliefs and risk-taking, we find that downward revisions in the belief of being HIV positive lead to a lower propensity to engage in extramarital affairs but have no effect on condom use. We show that the estimates provide a lower bound when there is measurement error in reported extra-marital affairs.


Paper Number: 08-041

Paper Year: 2008


Gil Shapira
Petra Todd