Probabilistic Expectations about HIV in Rural Malawi

Adeline Delavande, RAND and Universidade Nova de Lisboa

In high HIV-prevalence contexts, individual choices about sexual partnerships and risk reduction strategies depends critically on respondents’ subjective expectations about the prevalence of HIV and their subjective probabilities of own HIV infection, survival, future condom use with different partners, etc. Despite the central role of expectations, few studies are based on well-defined subjective expectations. In this paper, we present unique data on AIDS-related probabilistic expectations that we have collected in rural Malawi. More precisely, we (i) evaluate the success of the elicitation methodology we developed; (ii) describe respondents’ subjective probabilities of survival, analyze how it varies by characteristics, and assess their accuracy by comparing them to life tables; (iii) evaluate the extent to which respondents think contracting HIV/AIDS affects life expectancy by analyzing beliefs about the survival of hypothetical individuals who are either healthy or infected with HIV/AIDS; (iv) analyze the association between beliefs and risk taking behavior.

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Presented in Poster Session 4