New approach to combatting AIDS

18 07 2007

AIDS is one of the most widespread diseases in Africa, with poverty and lack of education constantly being blamed for it. Millions of dollars have been spent on AIDS campaigns in Africa to educate the masses on safe and protected sex. The campaigns in Uganda was a success story and ever since then, the same program has been replicated throughout Africa. However, Emily Oster, a 26 year old economist at the University of Chicago, says that there may be other aspects in play which severely affected the prevalence of AIDS in Uganda, leading to its success story.

In her recent presentation at TED, Emily talks about how maybe funds should be spent on national economic policies that have a higher effect on AIDS. She presents some economic statistics which show the direct relation between economic exports and prevalence of AIDS, with prevalence decreasing as exports decrease and vice versa. There is no clear explanation to this but statistics have proven that this is a fact. My guess is that when exports decrease, people are generally poorer and spend more time working to earn more money. When they are better off, they spend more time “enjoying life”.

Do watch the video as it gives a refreshing and valuable insight into how economic statistics could be used to analyze the cause and effects of social issues, like AIDS. Maybe social researchers and analysts should apply this approach for future projects.




One response

17 11 2007
New Approach to Combatting AIDS « WAD Up! Singapore

[…] October 31, 2007 · No Comments Original article here […]

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