This paper uses data from the Demographic and Health Survey to analyze the relationship between HIV status and the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of adults in Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. We construct the HIV/AIDS risk profile of the average adult, compute the values of age, education and wealth where the estimated probability of infection assumes its highest value, and we determine the percentage of adults for which age, education and wealth are positively correlated with the probability of infection. We find that in all the four countries: (i) the probability of being HIV positive is higher for women than for men; (ii) the likelihood of infection is higher for urban residents than for rural residents; and (iii) there is an inverted-U relationship between age and HIV status. We also find that unlike gender, rural/urban residence and age, the relationship between the probability of HIV infection and wealth, education and marital status varies by country. Our results provide support for country specific and more targeted HIV policies and programs.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/francis_owusu/12/