Cofactor Infections and HIV Epidemics in Developing Countries: Implications for Treatment
Working Paper No. 2008-03. 15 pages. This article shows that the burden of certain tropical disease infections, after controlling for other factors, is positively correlated with HIV prevalence. Using cross-national data and multivariate linear regression analysis, we investigate the determinants of HIV prevalence in low- and middle-income countries. We begin with social and economic variables used in other crossnational studies and then incorporate data on parasitic and infectious diseases endemic in poor populations, which are found to be strongly and significantly correlated with—and are potent predictors of—HIV prevalence. The paper concludes by arguing that treating tropical diseases may be a cost-effective addon to HIV prevention and treatment programs, thus slowing the spread of HIV in disease-burdened populations.