Abstract for: Women with HIV/AIDS in Malawi: The impact of anti-retroviral therapy on economic welfare

In this paper, we provide a preliminary, in-depth qualitative analysis of the plausible feedback mechanisms contributing to the high HIV/AIDS rate among young Malawian women by examining the relationship between HIV/AIDS infections, HIV risk categories, economic welfare (and productivity), and the potential impact of increased access to antiretroviral therapy (ART). Additionally, to obtain greater clarity, test assumptions, create a roadmap of data for ourselves and others, and to provide more opportunities for future use, we further distill the qualitative analysis into a simplified preliminary quantitative model. For each model structure (qualitative and quantitative), we review the formulation, testing, and evaluation processes involved. We hypothesize that ART is fundamental to increasing economic welfare of young, HIV-infected women in Malawi and show that our models do provide useful information and feedback for future discussion on social policy and problem-solving.