Promoting healthy behaviour: The importance of economic analysis in policy formulation for AIDS prevention
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Considerable attention has been paid in the literature to modification of high-risk behaviours as a means to control the spread of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. The success of such policies will depend crucially on the underlying causal mechanisms of these high-risk behaviours. To date the application of economics to the problem of AIDS has tended to focus on estimating the economic burden of the condition and the resource consequences of clinical strategies for care. Yet as a behavioural science economics should provide a useful input into the policy process aimed at behaviour modification. In this paper we extend the application of economic analysis to the determinants of individual behaviour to identify (i) the implications of current policies for the incidence of high-risk behaviour and (ii) the wider determinants of behaviour warranting greater attention in the policy-making process.
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