Worldwide 35 million people are currently living with HIV. Since the start of the epidemic, around 78 million people have become infected with HIV and 39 million have died of AIDS-related illnesses. Both new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths have been declining in the last few years, but the numbers remain very high: in 2013, 2.1 million people became newly infected with HIV and 1.5 million died from AIDS. The human and economic cost of the epidemic has been and remains staggering. The discovery and scaling-up of antiretroviral therapies has been a game changer in prolonging and improving the lives of millions of AIDS patients. However, progress in preventing new HIV infections has been more limited.
In this talk, Damien de Walque will discuss the role of behaviors in shaping the profile of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Who is more likely to become infected and why? How is HIV risk related to gender, education, or occupation? Further, in an effort to identify innovative mechanisms to reinforce HIV prevention, he will highlight the results from recent field experiments which have tested financial incentives such as conditional cash transfers and lotteries to promote safe sex and reduce the incidence of HIV. Finally, he will draw comparisons between the HIV pandemic and the recent Ebola epidemic. What are the similarities (and the differences) between the two diseases, and what can we learn from the successes and failures of the fight against HIV/AIDS in organizing the response to Ebola?
Last Updated: Feb 20, 2015