The Education "Vaccine" Against HIV: Evidence from Zambia's Basic Education Sub-Sector Investment Program".
Slosberg, Alix L.
- The HIV and AIDS pandemic remains one of the most pressing health and developmental issues of the twenty-first century. As is the case with other public health concerns, policymakers and academics have looked to the role that education can serve in preventing the spread of the disease. However, despite education's usual role as a preventative factor, or social vaccine, against contagion, within ... read morethe discourse on the HIV and AIDS pandemic education's association with infection is contested. Additionally, in many analyses done relating education to HIV status, education is endogenous to the model, leading to biased results. In this study I provide a background of the established theories that examine education's relation with HIV status. Filling the void created by endogeneity issues that restrict past studies, I use an instrumental variable regression to model the relationship between education and HIV status in Zambia. Using the 2007 Zambian Demographic and Health Survey data, I utilize the exogenous shock to educational attainment created by the Zambian Basic Education Sub-Sector Investment Program's free primary education policy (2002), to instrument for education in my model. I find that within my total sample, education has a significant and negative effect on HIV status. However, when the instrumental variable regression is run by gender, it is only the males who display a significant and negative relationship, while the correlation between education and HIV is insignificant for females. Based on these findings, I suggest that HIV prevention policy may be best directed towards investing in universal primary education, initiatives that target women and girls, information campaigns and sexual health curricula in schools.read less