Emerging Issues in Today’s HIV Response: Debate 5—The Ethics of Material Incentives for HIV Prevention

On February 14, 2011, the World Bank and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) co-hosted the fifth in a series of debates on emerging issues in HIV prevention. In an era when development aid is under pressure and the dynamics of the pandemic are constantly changing, it is imperative that governments, civil society organizations, and other partners have the best evidence and knowledge to maximize the effectiveness of development dollars and achieve results. The debate series was designed to advance discussion and begin to build consensus about contentious issues within the HIV community. The World Bank’s global video conferencing and web-based technologies allowed country teams in Africa and other partners from across the globe to participate in real time in the debate. Additional information about the debate series can be found at

Debate 5 focused on the ethics and effectiveness of using material incentives to prevent the further spread of HIV. The debate was based on the following proposition: Providing material incentives is an ethical and effective tool for HIV prevention and should be implemented.