Unformatted text preview: social stigma (HITS 2004; F. Mugusi et al. 2002; S. Ginwalla et al. 2002; Rachel Baggaley et
al. 1998; Angela B. Hutchinson et al. 2004; Kathleen Ford et al. 2004; Djeneba Coulibaly et al.
1998; Seth C. Kalichman and Leickness C. Simbayi 2003; and Brent Wolff et al. 2005).8 7
Although, when rapid testing is offered, close to 100 percent stay to learn their results. See also Nicole Angotti et
There is a growing body of literature in behavioral economics suggesting anxiety or fear may be important factors
in decision making, especially in seeking health information (see Colin Camerer, George Loewenstein, and Matthew
Rabin 2004; Richard G. Frank 2004; Rabin 1998; Steven Wu 2003). Andrew Caplin and John Leahy (2001) present
a model of psychological expected utility and in an expansion of this work, Caplin and Dan Eliaz (2003) and Botond
�szegi (2003) model anxiety to learn health status. See also Thomas Philipson and Richard Posner (1995). It is also VOL. 98 NO. 5 THORNTON: THE DEMAND fOR, AND IMpAcT Of, LEARNING HIV STATUS 1839 Monetary incentives may operate through several mechanisms to motivate individuals to learn
their HIV status through testing. Incentives may directly compensate for the costs of learning
HIV results, including the monetary costs of time or travel, or psychological costs. Monetary
incentives may also reduce actual or anticipated social stigma. For example, while others could
interpret attending a VCT center as a signal of self-perceived risk of infection or of prior unsafe
sexual behavior, monetary incentives may provide individuals with an excuse for going to the
center, thereby reducing negative inferences made by others.
B. Impact of Incentives and Distance on Learning HIV Results
Across the three districts of the study area, 69 percent of all respondents attended a VCT center to obtain their HIV test results. Both incentives and distance to the center had large effects
on seeking HIV results. Figure 3 presents the percent attending a results center as a function
of receiving any incentive ( panel A) and the total amount o...
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