The provision of life-saving antiretroviral (ARV) treatment has emerged as a key component of the global response to HIV/AIDS, yet little is known about the impact of this intervention on the welfare of children whose parents receive treatment. In this working paper CGD post-doctoral fellow Harsha Thirumurthy and his co-authors use longitudinal household survey data collected in collaboration with a treatment program in western Kenya to provide the first estimate of the impact of ARV treatment on children’s schooling and nutrition. They find that children's weekly hours of school attendance increase by over 20 percent within six months after treatment is initiated for the adult household member. Young children's short-term nutritional status also improves dramatically. Since the improvements in children’s schooling and nutrition at these critical early ages will affect their socio-economic outcomes in adulthood, the authors argue that the widespread provision of ARV treatment is also likely to generate significant long-run macroeconomic benefits.
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