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Comparative effectiveness of novel nonmonetary incentives to promote HIV testing.

  • Author(s): Chamie, Gabriel
  • Schaffer, Elisabeth M
  • Ndyabakira, Alex
  • Emperador, Devy M
  • Kwarisiima, Dalsone
  • Camlin, Carol S
  • Havlir, Diane V
  • Kahn, James G
  • Kamya, Moses R
  • Thirumurthy, Harsha
  • et al.
Abstract

OBJECTIVE:To assess the comparative effectiveness of alternative incentive-based interventions to promote HIV testing among men. DESIGN:Randomized clinical trial. METHODS:We enumerated four Ugandan parishes and enrolled men at least 18 years. Participants were randomized to six groups that received incentives of varying type and amount for HIV testing at a 13-day community health campaign. Incentive types were: gain-framed (control): participants were told they would receive a prize for testing; loss-framed: participants were told they had won a prize, shown several prizes, asked to select one, then told they would lose the prize if they did not test; lotteries: those who tested had a chance to win larger prizes. Each incentive type had a low and high amount (∼US$1 and US$5/participant). The primary outcome was HIV-testing uptake at the community health campaign. RESULTS:Of 2532 participants, 1924 (76%) tested for HIV; 7.6% of those tested were HIV-positive. There was no significant difference in testing uptake in the two lottery groups (78%; P = 0.076) or two loss-framed groups (77%; P = 0.235) vs. two gain-framed groups (74%). Across incentive types, testing did not differ significantly in high-cost (76%) vs. low-cost (75%; P = 0.416) groups. Within low-cost groups, testing uptake was significantly higher in the lottery (80%) vs. gain-framed (72%; P = 0.009) group. CONCLUSION:Overall, neither offering incentives via lotteries nor framing incentives as losses resulted in significant increases in HIV testing compared with standard gain-framed incentives. However, when offering low-cost incentives to promote HIV testing, providing lottery-based rewards may be a better strategy than gain-framed incentives.

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