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Study finds incentive price for reducing HIV risk in Mexico
Date:2/4/2013

data show that there is an optimal price for a conditional cash transfer program. Just for the monthly prevention talks and tests, for example, the percentage of men who would participate rapidly climbed above 75 percent as offers reached between $7 and $8.75 a month. But participation only inched up a little closer to 80 percent when offers were raised as high as $12.25 a month. Above $12.25 the potential participation rate even started to decline a little.

The result that sex workers would participate for much less money may be a result of their especially urgent need for money, Galrraga said. It is still a complex calculation for them, however, because the workers generally can earn more money for engaging in riskier behavior, for instance by not using condoms. On short-term financial basis, therefore, sex workers incur a penalty for doing what seems to be the right thing from personal and public health standpoint. For them, conditional cash payments can provide at least some compensation for making the healthier choices.

The data yielded other insights, including that about 9 percent of the men would not participate at any price. They tended to be more educated and wealthier.

Since obtaining the results, the researchers have continued their work by implementing a small pilot conditional cash transfer program with about 200 male sex workers and gay men with more than 10 partners a month, Galrraga said. The team does not yet have definitive results to report.

The stakes of the research, however, are high as the epidemic continues on the streets of Mexico's capital.


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Contact: David Orenstein
david_orenstein@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert  

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