Replication Researchers: Antonio Trujillo and Flor Calvo
Original Paper Title: The Demand for, and Impact of, Learning HIV Status
Original Researchers: Rebecca L. Thornton
Original publication: American Economic Review
Replication Plan: Not Applicable
Current Status: Grant Cancelled
The Original Study
This study evaluates the influence of monetary incentives on the demand for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing and assesses whether learning HIV status affect sexual behaviour. The study relies on a randomised evaluation (RCT) design in which 3,185 individuals living in the study area were randomly offered an HIV test (2,812 accepted) and a voucher randomly ranging from US$0 to US$3, redeemable upon picking up test results and attending a counselling session. The author finds that incentives had a significant effect on the demand for test results; the attendance rate to voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) was about twice larger amongst those receiving positive-valued vouchers than amongst those receiving no incentive. The results related to the influence of learning HIV status on the demand for condoms are mixed. The study found that the probability of purchasing condoms was twice higher amongst HIV-positive individuals, who collected their results than amongst those who did not. However, HIV-negative individuals that know their HIV status were as likely to purchase condoms as those who chose not to collect their results. Overall, the study suggests that although small financial incentives can significantly increase the demand for learning HIV status, such knowledge turns out to have limited impact on the protection behaviour of HIV-negative individuals.