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Three Things You Don’t Know About Aids In Africa

By: Luke Gilman | Other Posts by
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University of Chicago Economist and Becker Fellow Emily Oster has an interesting article in Esquire, Three Things You Don’t Know About Aids In Africa

Approximately 6 percent of adults in sub-Saharan Africa are infected with HIV; in the United States, the number is around 0.8 percent. Very often, this disparity is attribu ed to differences in sexual behavior—in the number of sexual partners, the types of sexual activities, and so on. But these differences cannot, in fact, be seen in the data on sexual behavior. So what actually accounts for the gulf in infection rates?

According to my research, the major difference lies in transmission rates of the virus. For a given unprotected sexual relationship with an HIV-infected person, Africans are between four and five times more likely than Americans to become infected with HIV themselves. This stark fact accounts for virtually all of the difference in population-wide HIV rates in the two regions.

You’ll just have to read the article to find out what the other two things are.

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Category: freakin' economics, uncategorizable

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