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Paying Girls to Prevent HIV Infections

Behold the power of the moolah. The World Bank has just released new studies that show they can significantly lower the infection rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases by paying people to do (or not do) something:

In the first study, a two-year program rewarded young girls in Malawi, rife with poverty and high HIV infection rates, with cash payments for regular school attendance. In Tanzania, the Bank paid young adults in cash to avoid unsafe sex.

The studies "show the potential for using cash payments to prevent people, especially women and girls, from engaging in unsafe sex while also ensuring that they stay in school and get the full benefit of an education," said David Wilson, who heads the Bank's global HIV/AIDS program.

In the education study in Malawi's Zomba district, which has both high HIV rates and school dropout rates among young girls, the World Bank found cash payments for at least 75 percent school attendance each month reduced infection rates by 60 percent, compared to an unpaid control group.

"Girls who received payments not only had less sex, but when they did, they tended to choose younger, safer partners," the World Bank said in a statement on the studies, which were released on the first day of the 18th International AIDS Conference in Vienna.

Cash transfers, the institution said, enabled a significant drop in what is called "transactional sex" among girls and young women who trade intercourse for assistance, gifts or money.

Link - via Andrew Sullivan's The Daily Dish

Previously on Neatorama: Paying Forgetful Patients To Take Their Meds


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Wow, your ignorance regarding the plight of young women in these countries is astounding. If the only way to get an education, or even a meal, was to get some money from someone who might rape you anyway, you might have a different point of view. If the girls get paid to go to school, then they don't have to prostitute themselves to survive.
@nutbastard
maybe you should stop trying to pick up teenage girls, and they would be more reasonable.
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@Vonskippy

well if the whole not being homeless thing isn't enough to encourage academic discipline among teens...

money talks, but more importantly, it needs no explanation and requires no intelligence on the part of the person being given money as an incentive. also, note that they're saying "paying GIRLS", not "women". I'm not sure when the last time was that you tried to explain some really heavy shit to a teenage girl and have her *get* it and modify her behavior, but I'm assuming it's been a while. as a group, young girls aren't exactly the most reasonable people in the world. toss in some desperate poverty and a lack of education and reason as a tool is almost completely removed from the table.

that said, just because it works doesn't make it a decent solution. it's a work around, a band aid. no pun intended.
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The statistical improvement might be almost entirely attributed to increased financial independence. The reality among humans is that much of what we consider to be consenting sex between 'involved' persons could be considered prostitution if the definition were stretched just a little. Many women who would never consider themselves prostitutes will continue to see men to whom they are not attracted and with whom they do not enjoy sex simply because these men have nice homes, can help with bills, can afford to take trips, etc.
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