Exploring the Potential of a Conditional Cash Transfer Intervention to Reduce HIV Risk among Young Women in Iringa, Tanzania

September 2013 - Structural Prevention

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Kennedy, C.E., Brahmbhatt, H., Likindikoki, S., et al. AIDS Care (August 2013), E-publication ahead of print.

As part of a study examining combination HIV prevention interventions in Tanzania, the authors conducted qualitative, formative research through 116 in-depth interviews with Iringa residents and stakeholders, seeking to understand participants' perspectives on cash transfer programs for young women with high HIV risk. Qualitative analysis showed that respondents generally favored such a program, which could address poverty-driven behaviors associated with HIV vulnerability. However, informants highlighted concerns about jealousy, sustainability issues, dependence on the program, and corruption. The authors identified recommendations based on the findings for cash transfer programs, stressing that program planners should work with local stakeholders and educate communities on the goal of cash transfers. Most respondents believed that providing the funds directly to the target group would be most effective, and that the parents of younger girls in school should also receive funds. While many respondents had favorable attitudes towards cash transfers, others said that providing micro-credit loans to invest in small business may be more suitable for this population. The study did not explore linking transfers to complementary services, but respondents emphasized the need for education on HIV and financial management. The authors concluded that there was general understanding of the benefits of an intervention targeting the economic vulnerability of young women in Iringa, and provided additional considerations for implementing cash transfer programs.

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