Love, Behavior, and Incentives in the Time of HIV/AIDS
February 23, 2015Risk Management and Vulnerability

This talk focuses on the behaviors 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?

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

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    Damien de Walque, Senior Economist

    Damien de Walque is a Senior Economist in the Development Research Group focused on the areas of health and education. He is currently evaluating the education and health outcomes of conditional cash transfers linked to school attendance and health center visits in Burkina Faso. He is also working on evaluating the impact of HIV/AIDS interventions and policies in several African countries
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    Asli Demirgüç-Kunt, Director of Research

    Asli Demirgüç-Kunt is the Director of Research in the World Bank. After joining the Bank in 1989 as a Young Economist, she has held different positions, including Director of Development Policy, Chief Economist of Financial and Private Sector Development Network, and Senior Research Manager, doing research and advising on financial sector and private sector development issues.
  • Marelize Gӧrgens, HIV Trust Fund Program Manager, World Bank

  • The Policy Research Talks showcase the latest findings of the research department and their implications for World Bank operations. The goal of the monthly event is to facilitate a dialogue between researchers and operational staff, so that we can challenge and contribute to the World Bank's intellectual climate and re-examine conventional wisdom in current development theories and practices.
  • Date: February 23, 2015
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