Send to

Choose Destination
AIDS Behav. 2015 Nov;19(11):2069-75. doi: 10.1007/s10461-015-1076-0.

Behavioral Economics Matters for HIV Research: The Impact of Behavioral Biases on Adherence to Antiretrovirals (ARVs).

Author information

RAND Corp, 1776 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA, 90401-3208, USA.
Economics Department, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


Behavioral economics (BE) has been used to study a number of health behaviors such as smoking and drug use, but there is little knowledge of how these insights relate to HIV prevention and care. We present novel evidence on the prevalence of the common behavioral decision-making errors of present-bias, overoptimism, and information salience among 155 Ugandan HIV patients, and analyze their association with subsequent medication adherence. 36 % of study participants are classified as present-biased, 21 % as overoptimistic, and 34 % as having salient HIV information. Patients displaying present-bias were 13 % points (p = 0.006) less likely to have adherence rates above 90 %, overoptimistic clients were 9 % points (p = 0.04) less likely, and those not having salient HIV information were 17 % points (p < 0.001) less likely. These findings indicate that BE may be used to screen for future adherence problems and to better design and target interventions addressing these behavioral biases and the associated suboptimal adherence.


Antiretroviral therapy; Behavioral economics; Developing countries; HIV; Medication adherence; Uganda

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center