Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 03/2011

Antiretroviral Therapy Awareness and Risky Sexual Behaviors: Evidence from Mozambique

Damien de Walque, Harounan Kazianga, Mead Over

January 2011

Center for Global Development


This paper studies how increased access to antiretroviral therapy affects sexual behavior using data collected in Mozambique in 2007 and 2008. The survey sampled both HIV-positive individuals and households from the general population. The findings support the hypothesis of disinhibition behaviors, where individuals are more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior when they believe that they will have greater access to better health care, such as antiretroviral therapy. The findings suggest that scaling up access to antiretroviral therapy without prevention programs may lead to more risky sexual behavior and ultimately more infections. The study concludes that during this era of increased antiretroviral availability, prevention programs need to include educational messages so that individuals know that risky sexual behavior is still dangerous.