24 sweat et al 2000 estimated that hiv testing in

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Unformatted text preview: nd Tanzania resulted in a cost per infection averted of 249 and 346 respectively although their results are limited by selection and reporting bias which may bias results towards more cost-effective analysis. VOL. 98 NO. 5 THORNTON: THE DEMAND fOR, AND IMpAcT Of, LEARNING HIV STATUS 1859 stigma associated with HIV testing by providing individuals with a public excuse for attending the results center. This suggests that rather than expensive campaigns to reduce perceptions of testing stigma, simply offering incentives or reducing costs associated with testing may be effective strategies for increasing uptake. It is important to keep in mind, however, that these results may differ in settings with higher prevalence rates or different social circumstances.25 The fact that HIV-positive individuals are willing to incur private costs to protect sexual partners from infection suggests that offering free testing and incentives for obtaining test results and reduced-cost condoms might constitute a promising strategy to prevent new HIV infections. However, in this study, the magnitude of the effects of learning HIV status were relatively small and were observed only for a small fraction of sampled respondents. Further, testing had no impact on increasing the demand for condoms among HIV-negatives, or among those without a sexual partner, despite lengthy pre- and post-test counseling sessions with nurses, education about safe sex, and offers of low-priced condoms. These findings indicate that other prevention programs should be explored before investing in costly door-to-door testing programs. However, if governments or organizations choose to invest in testing programs in order to provide treatment, or if a testing program is already in place, offering modest monetary rewards may help to increase uptake and return rates. Given evidence of small positive behavioral effects on HIVpositives of learning their status, inexpensive boosts in participation may help to increase the effectiveness of such programs.26 It is important to revisit and challenge previous assumptions...
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This document was uploaded on 01/28/2014.

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