Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
Can Courts Make Federalism Work? A Game Theory Approach to Court-Induced Compliance and Defection in Federal Systems
Previous Article in Journal
Household Debt and Consumption Inequality: The Spanish Case
Previous Article in Special Issue
Union Bargaining in an Oligopoly Market with Cournot-Bertrand Competition: Welfare and Policy Implications
Economies 2014, 2(3), 171-192; doi:10.3390/economies2030171
Article

Social Context and the Spread of HIV: An Evolutionary Game-Theoretic Investigation on the Impacts of Social Stigma on Epidemic Outcomes

1 and 2,*
1 Department of Economics, Grinnell College, 1210 Park Street, Grinnell, IA 50112, USA 2 London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, UK
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 January 2014 / Revised: 8 July 2014 / Accepted: 12 August 2014 / Published: 25 August 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Game Theory and Political Economy)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [576 KB, uploaded 25 August 2014]   |   Browse Figures
SciFeed

Abstract

We provide a theoretical foundation for analyzing how social stigma and adopted behavioral traits affect the transmission of HIV across a population. We combine an evolutionary game-theoretic model—based on a relationship signaling stage game—with the SIR (susceptible-infected-recovered) model of disease transmission. Our evolutionary model specifies how two types of social stigma—that which accompanies an HIV+ condition and that which follows associating with an HIV+ partner—influence behavioral propensities to honestly report one’s condition (or not) and to unconditionally accept relationships (or not). With respect to reporting an HIV+ condition, we find that condition stigma impedes the fitness of honest reporting, whereas association stigma impedes the relative fitness of concealing an HIV+ condition; and both propensities can coexist in a polymorphic equilibrium. By linking our model to the SIR model, we find that condition stigma unambiguously enhances disease transmission by discouraging both honest reporting and a society’s acceptance of AIDS education, whereas association stigma has an ambiguous impact: on one hand it can impede HIV transmission by discouraging concealing behavior and unconditional relationship acceptance, but it also compromises a society’s acceptance of AIDS education. Our relatively simple evolutionary/SIR model offers a foundation for numerous theoretical extensions—such as applications to social network theory—as well as foundation for many testable empirical hypotheses.
Keywords: evolutionary game theory; HIV transmission; polymorphic equilibrium; SIR model of disease transmission; social stigma evolutionary game theory; HIV transmission; polymorphic equilibrium; SIR model of disease transmission; social stigma
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Share & Cite This Article

Further Mendeley | CiteULike
Export to BibTeX |
EndNote |
RIS
MDPI and ACS Style

Ferguson, W.D.; Nguyen, T.K. Social Context and the Spread of HIV: An Evolutionary Game-Theoretic Investigation on the Impacts of Social Stigma on Epidemic Outcomes. Economies 2014, 2, 171-192.

View more citation formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Comments

[Return to top]
Economies EISSN 2227-7099 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert