According to the research from Botswana, students who have a longer secondary education have a lower risk of HIV infection. The percentage of students infected have decreased from 25 percent to 17 percent in the past decade.
Jacob Bor, a senior author assistant professor at Boston University School of Public Health told TOI, “It is difficult to isolate the effect of education on HIV risk from the complex web of co-factors such as personal motivation, psychological traits, socio-economic status and family background. In the absence of large-scale trial data, natural experiments can provide robust evidence to guide policy.”
For the study as recent school policy reform was used as a ‘natural experiment’. The experiment was done to determine the impact of increased years of secondary schooling on risk of HIV infection.
At the time of surveys, the authors examined the causal effect of an additional year of schooling on HIV status in 7,018 men and women at least 18 years old.
According to the research, the individuals with an extra year of secondary schooling was eight percent less likely to test positive for HIV about a decade later.
The researched showed that the effects were particularly strong among women. With an additional year of secondary schooling the risk of infection was reduced by 12 percent.