A Close Examination of the HIV/Fertility Timing Linkage in Africa: Examination of Age and Cohort-Specific Fertility Spacing’s Correlation with Cohort-Specific HIV Prevalence

Stacy Sneeringer, Wellesley College

We use individual data from every publicly available Demographic and Health Survey in Africa to examine whether the fertility timing of specific age groups is differently affected by HIV, and to track how cohort fertility timing is affected by HIV. Going beyond recent data which test women for HIV status, we use sentinel test results from 1980 onward in Sub-Saharan Arica, which are HIV tests of women in each African country by year and by region. This allows us to estimate HIV prevalence among pregnant women for the entire scope of the epidemic so far (1980-2006), and to see if the response is different in countries and regions with high and low HIV prevalence. Our results suggest that the relationship between HIV and fertility timing is negative. Controlling for country, cohort and region fixed effects, we find that fertility spacing is lower when the cohort-specific fertility rate is high.

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Presented in Session 154: Cross-National Patterns of Fertility