AIDS Treatment Scale-Up and Child Schooling in Sub-Saharan Africa

Josephine Duh, Brattle Group

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) dramatically reversed the sharp rise in AIDS-related mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. Economic theory predicts that longer life expectancy increases human capital investment. What has been the impact of expanding ART availability on child education? To identify ART scale-up at the sub-national level, I employ a novel method based on trends in regional HIV prevalence rates among adults who were most likely to survive because of access to ART. Through a reduction in AIDS mortality, ART scale-up may be positively correlated with HIV prevalence among this sub-population, and thus, contrary to findings from studies using data pre-dating 2005, the relationship between HIV prevalence and child schooling could be positive. My results suggest that the successful implementation of ART helped to increase current school enrollment among children 7 to 14 years old, non-orphans and orphans alike, and to decrease the number of years that children were falling behind grade-for-age.

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Presented in Session 95: Education Issues in Africa