Gender Differences in the Role of Education on Engagement in HIV-Related Sexual Behavior in 10 Sub-Saharan African Countries

John M. Collins, Pennsylvania State University
Juan Leon, Pennsylvania State University
David Baker, Pennsylvania State University

HIV infection has been a significant health problem around the world, particularly in SSA. Past studies have shown that educational attainment has historically been related to increased risk of HIV infection, with education’s wealth effect increasing risky sexual behavior. HIV campaigns and interventions have focused on increasing HIV knowledge and changing attitudes in hopes of changing sexual behavior. Our study examines whether education has shifted away from a wealth effect to an information effect by examining whether the accumulation of facts and attitudes moderates the effect of education on an individual’s sexual behavior using the Demographic Health Surveys from 10 SSA countries. Our study finds that education is not solely working through an information effect, but has an independent effect on sexual behavior. Gender differences emerge in how educational attainment relates to changing behavior above the accumulation of facts and attitudes.

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Presented in Poster Session 1