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Abstract

Campaigns to prevent the spread of HIV require accurate knowledge of the characteristics of those most likely to contract the disease. Studies conducted in Sub-Saharan Africa during the 1980s generally found a positive correlation between socioeconomic characteristics such as education, income, and wealth and subsequent contraction of HIV. As the disease has progressed, the relationship between socioeconomic status and HIV contraction may have changed, although there is little evidence to support this. An emerging strand of the literature on the AIDS epidemic in Africa posits that poverty is increasingly associated with the spread of the disease. However, this conclusion is somewhat contentious, as other recent studies find mixed evidence of a poverty-AIDS connection. This study attempts to shed light on these issues by reporting findings from two linked studies on the socioeconomic characteristics of prime-age individuals (defined as ages 15 to 59) dying of disease-related causes in Zambia and Kenya.

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