by Collin Payne, Hans-Peter Kohler
Demographic Research, Vol. 36, Article 37, pp. 1081-1108 – Published 5 April 2017
Recent evidence from health and demographic surveillance sites (HDSS) has shown that increasing access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) is reducing mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). However, due to limited vital statistics registration in many of the countries most affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, there is limited evidence of the magnitude of ART’s effect outside of specific HDSS sites. This paper leverages longitudinal household/family roster data from the Malawi Longitudinal Survey of Families and Health (MLSFH) to estimate the effect of ART availability in public clinics on population-level mortality based on a geographically dispersed sample of individuals in rural Malawi. The authors conclude that their observations show that the increased availability of ART resulted in a substantial and sustained reversal of mortality trends in SSA and assuage concerns that the post-ART reversals in mortality are not occurring at the same magnitude outside of specific HDSSs.