Journal Article

Throwing Foreign Aid at HIV/AIDS in Developing Countries: Missing the Target?


  • Nunnenkamp
  • P.
  • Öhler
  • H.
Publication Date

We assess empirically whether foreign official development assistance (ODA) has been effective in alleviating HIV/AIDS epidemics, which figures prominently among the Millennium Development Goals. We employ a difference-in-difference-in-differences approach to identify the treatment effect of ODA specifically meant to fight sexually transmitted diseases on HIV/AIDS-related outcome variables. We do not find that ODA has prevented new infections. The results regarding the medical care of infected people are mixed: evidence on significant treatment effects on AIDS-related deaths exists for the major bilateral source of ODA, the United States, in sharp contrast to ODA from multilateral organizations.


JEL Classification
F35, I19

Key Words

  • aid effectiveness
  • AIDS-related deaths
  • difference-in-difference-in-differences
  • HIV infections
  • major donors
  • Official Development Assistance