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Cash to stay in school doesn’t reduce HIV incidence in South African study – but school attendance protected young women against HIV
Keith Alcorn, 2015-07-22 03:10:00
A conditional cash transfer to the households of adolescent girls to
promote school attendance did not reduce HIV incidence in a randomised study in
rural South Africa, Audrey Pettifor of the University of North Carolina
reported on Tuesday at the Eighth International AIDS Society Conference on HIV
Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Vancouver.
Although receipt of the cash transfer was not associated
with reduced HIV incidence, it was associated with a lower rate of unprotected
sexual intercourse compared to a control group.
The study also found that dropping out of school, or poor
school attendance, was associated with a significantly higher rate of HIV
incidence in young women. The finding confirms observations in several African
countries which show that education has a protective effect against HIV
infection both during the school years and afterwards for young women.
A second study, CAPRISA 007, showed that a conditional cash
transfer to young women and men tied to HIV testing, participation in life
skills training and academic attainment reduced the incidence of HSV-2 by 30%
but did not have an impact on HIV incidence.
In both studies HIV incidence was low and this may well have
limited the power the studies to show any effect of the interventions on HIV