The Probability of Maternal Orphanhood Under a Generalized AIDS Epidemic
James H. Jones, Stanford University
Using stable population theory and AIDS-decremented model life tables, I build on the work of Lotka and Henry to develop a method to estimate the probability of orphanhood conditional on surviving to some age based on an analysis of first passage times of a Markov chain. I calculate the conditional probability that a girl who survives to adulthood has a living mother. Mortality decrements in the characteristic AIDS shape nearly double the conditional probability of orphanhood for all ages compared to a mortality schedule with the same life expectancy but no AIDS mortality. Fertility has a small effect and this is a function of the shape of the net maternity function. Despite the limitations, this analysis provides important qualitative insights into the demographic processes that link HIV disease and aggregate demographic outcomes. I suggest possibilities for future work in which the assumptions of the present analysis are relaxed.