HIV/AIDS Sero-Prevalence and Socio-Economic Status: Evidence from Uganda

Although Uganda reported large reductions in HIV/AIDS prevalence during the 1990s, recent evidence suggests that the country’s rate of new HIV infections is on the rise. Motivated by Uganda’s reversal of fortunes regarding HIV/AIDS control, this study explores the factors that are correlated with sexual behaviour and the risk of HIV infection using a unique dataset of 19,534 individuals from the 2011 Uganda AIDS Indicator Survey. This survey tested individuals 15-49 years of age for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. The same survey also collected background information for all tested individuals. This information is similar to what is collected in a typical demographic and health survey. We estimate probit models for the correlates of risky sexual behaviours that can lead to HIV infection, such as: having concurrent sexual partners, no-condom use, and alcohol use during sex. In addition, we examine correlates of having been tested for HIV prior to the survey. Also, we estimate models for correlates of the risk of testing HIV positive as well as the self-assessed risks of contracting HIV. We find that higher education attainment and access to health facilities are important for adopting safe sexual behaviour, as well as reducing the risk of testing HIV positive. Among HIV infected couples, we find that women have a higher rate of discordance, which is at odds with the low rates of self-reported extra marital sexual behaviour.