Monetary Incentives May Improve Adherence to HIV Treatment


Small, automated financial incentives improved retention in care and viral suppression among adults with HIV starting antiretroviral therapy.

Past study supports the use of direct monetary incentives to improve retention in HIV care and antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence. But few assessments have examined the impact of such policies on biological outcomes, and few have compared the impact of different incentive amounts.

Investigators in Tanzania trialed modest, automated financial incentives for clinic attendance on viral suppression for patients initiating ART. Findings were presented at the International AIDS Society (IAS) AIDS 2020 Virtual Sessions. The study design included a 3-arm parallel-group randomized control process. At 4 clinics in the Shinyanga region, investigators recruited adults living with HIV who initiated ART fewer than 30 days prior in order to assess how viral load outcomes might vary between the 3 groups at the end of the trial period.

Between April-December 2018, 530 participants were allocated (1:1:1) to the control group or to receive a monthly cash incentive, conditional on clinic attendance, of either 10,000 TZS ('US $4.50) or 22,500 TZS ('US $10.00).

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