South African Researchers Examine Cash Incentive HIV Prevention Program

In South Africa, where 17 percent of the world’s HIV-positive population lives, researchers from the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) in Durban are examining whether providing cash payments as a reward for good grades and undergoing annual HIV testing, along with teaching life skills, might help change young men’s and women’s risky sexual behavior, Nature News reports.

While “[m]any health experts are enthusiastic about the use of cash incentives” to help alter behavior, as other studies have shown is possible, “the idea has its detractors,” who ask when the incentives might stop or note that young people will continue to have sexual relationships, the news service writes (Shetty, 6/6).