Economic policy

State-level economic policy associated with reduced HIV risk behaviors among single mothers

UCLA research finds that a state earned income tax credit (SEITC) of 10% or greater than the federal EITC was associated with a 21% relative reduction in behavioral risk reported that could put single mothers at high risk of HIV infection in the past year. Additionally, a 10 percentage point increase in SEITC was linked to a 38% relative reduction in the same high-risk behavior reported the previous year.

Previous research has found a relationship between poverty and sexually transmitted infections such as HIV. Poverty, low-paying jobs, income inequality, and other structural economic factors can spread sexually transmitted infections by creating pools of high-risk partners, facilitating transactional sex, and undermining the sexual agency of women. women.

The researchers used data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (2002-2018) and state-level data from the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research to conduct a multi-state analysis and multi-annual.

These results demonstrate the impact of anti-poverty policy interventions such as providing cash assistance to those in need. In this case, the reduction in HIV risk behavior was what one would expect for two or more hours of intensive HIV risk reduction counselling, which few single mothers with low income can easily access. Thus, the SEITC policy may be a strategy to reduce HIV among women of low socioeconomic status, especially single mothers.

Dr. Kimberly Danae Cauley Narain and Nina Harawa from UCLA.


Journal reference:

Narain, KDC and Harawa, N., (2022) Evidence for the Role of State-Level Economic Policy in Reducing HIV Risk: State Generosity in Earned Income Tax Credit and HIV risk behavior among single mothers. AIDS and behavior.