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HIV prevalence and poverty in Africa: Micro- and macro-econometric evidences applied to Burkina Faso
Authors: Jean-Pierre Lachaud
Source: Journal of Health Economics, Volume 26, Issue 3, 1 May 2007, Pages 483-504
Topic(s): HIV/AIDS
Women's status
Country: Africa
  Burkina Faso
Published: MAY 2007
Abstract: Based on the data of the Demographic and Health Survey, and of the Household Priority Survey, carried out in 2003, the present study, examining the factors of HIV prevalence in Burkina Faso, provides two conclusions. Firstly, the fight against poverty is not necessarily a means of reducing simultaneously and drastically HIV/AIDS prevalence, an assertion based on several elements of empirical analysis. First of all, the micro-econometric estimates of the probit models suggest a positive relationship between HIV prevalence in adult women and men, and living standards of individuals. Then, the macro-econometric approach reveals the existence of a positive (negative) relationship between, on the one hand, the level of regional HIV prevalence, and, on the other hand, the average monetary provincial standard of living (poverty) of households. At the same time, the relationship between HIV prevalence and poverty, apprehended at the regional level, is not linear. Secondly, and correlatively, the relationship between HIV prevalence and poverty is called into question. First of all, some structural factors may contribute to a distortion of the relationship between resources of households and the prevalence of HIV/AIDS. This may be due, on the one hand, to the persistence of cognitive and behavioural factors inherent in a traditional society, and in particular, to the fact that the social construction of female attributes and roles confers to men a statute of “decision-makers” with regard to sexual intercourse, while the persistence of secular beliefs contributes to minimizing the perception of HIV/AIDS in terms of risk, independently of standards of living. In addition, the enclavement of Burkina Faso required development of road and railway traffic with neighbouring countries, in particular Côte d’Ivoire. Therefore, it may be that the structural conditions of the process of development of Burkina Faso, concomitant with significant flows of the exchange of goods, services and labour with a country where the prevalence of the HIV is particularly high, constitute an element of an explanation of the positive relationship between the resources of households and HIV seroprevalence. Also, factors related to the economic situation probably contributed to reinforcing the opposite relationship between HIV seroprevalence and poverty, the macro-econometric analysis highlighting a direct relationship between the massive return of migrants of Côte d’Ivoire and the level of HIV prevalence in Burkina Faso.