pinn_reed - Brandon Pinn (8451981) Amy Reed (8799975) Do...

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Brandon Pinn (8451981) Amy Reed (8799975) Do Teenagers Respond to HIV Risk Information? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya In her paper, Pascaline Dupas studies the change in the sexual behavior of teenagers in response to information on HIV risk. More specifically, she measures the responsiveness of teenagers to HIV risk information, and compares the effectiveness of both the risk avoidance and the risk reduction curriculums. The risk avoidance curriculum strives to entirely eliminate pre- marital sex by stressing the importance of abstinence until marriage, while the risk reduction curriculum provides information on how to reduce the chance of becoming infected with HIV/AIDS through preventative measures, such as wearing a condom, partner selection, etc. Dupas seeks to discover whether HIV risk information can change sexual behavior among teenagers, and she does this through the use of a randomized experiment conducted among Kenyan teenagers. Between the year of its discovery (1981) and 2006, AIDS took nearly 25 million lives, while HIV infected 0.6% of the world’s population. In her paper, Dupas states that “nearly 2 million people become infected with HIV/AIDS every year in sub-Saharan Africa, the great majority of them through sex and a quarter of them before the age of 25” (pg. 1). In 2003, it was estimated that 7% of Kenyan adults were infected with HIV. A cure for AIDS has yet to be found, and we are still without a successful HIV vaccine. In sub-Saharan Africa, HIV is at least three times more prevalent in teenage girls than among teenage boys. This is presumed to be a result of unsafe cross-generational sexual relationships, or “unprotected sex between teenage girls and adult men over five years their senior” (pg. 2). In 2001, the HIV/AIDS risk curriculum was introduced to primary schools. It contained information about the virus itself, how to care for people with the virus, and a preventative section that stressed the importance of remaining abstinent until marriage. There was no information regarding the importance of using condoms, or of proper partner-selection. Although the curriculum was introduced in 2001, it was still largely absent in primary schools well into the year 2003. This was because both schools and
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pinn_reed - Brandon Pinn (8451981) Amy Reed (8799975) Do...

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