Can Antiretroviral Therapy at Scale Improve the Health of the Targeted in Sub-Saharan Africa?

Nicholas Wilson, Reed College

The single largest item in the United States foreign aid health budget is antiretroviral therapy (ART) for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. Despite the central focus on ART in global health policy and a host of behavioral studies presuming ART expansion has directly improved the health of HIV positive individuals, there is little quasi-experimental evidence on the epidemiological e ffects of ART expansion in Sub-Saharan Africa. We provide quasi-experimental evidence on this question using the phased roll-out of ART in Zambia, a country where approximately 1 in 6 adults is HIV positive. Using anthropometric data from national household surveys and a spatially-based triple diff erence estimator, we find evidence suggesting that local ART introduction increased the weight of HIV positive adult women.

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Presented in Session 110: AIDS in the Era of ART