Cash payments to vulnerable individuals or households have garnered attention as a means to reduce poverty, improve health and achieve other development-related outcomes. Recent evidence from Malawi and Tanzania suggests that cash transfers can impact HIV-related behaviours and outcomes and, therefore, could serve as an important addition to HIV prevention efforts.
This article reviews the current evidence on cash transfers for HIV prevention and suggests unresolved questions for further research. Gaps in the evidence include:
- understanding more about the mechanisms and pathways through which cash transfers affect HIV-related outcomes
- addressing key operational questions, including the potential feasibility and the costs and benefits of different models of transfers and conditionality
- evaluating and enhancing the wider impacts of cash transfers on health and development.
- the economic motivators of transactional sex
- the impact of friendship networks on young women’s sexual behaviour and condom use
- a full economic costing of the intervention.