AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 905–912

Incentivizing HIV/STI Testing: A Systematic Review of the Literature

  • Ramon Lee
  • Rosa R. Cui
  • Kathryn E. Muessig
  • Harsha Thirumurthy
  • Joseph D. Tucker
Substantive Review


Suboptimal HIV/STI testing uptake has a profound impact on morbidity and mortality. Incentives have been effective in other areas of medicine and may improve HIV/STI testing uptake rates. This study reviewed the effects of incentives on HIV/STI testing uptake. A systematic search of seven databases was undertaken. Testing uptake was defined as test implementation and/or test result retrieval. Incentives were defined as monetary or non-monetary rewards or free-of-charge testing vouchers. Seven studies were included. All seven studies demonstrated higher rates of uptake in an incentivized group. Incentives offered at a non-clinical setting demonstrated more significant differences in uptake rates compared to incentives offered at a clinical setting. Incentivizing HIV/STI testing uptake, especially testing at a non-clinical setting, may be a useful tool to modify health behavior. Further research is needed to understand how incentives could be an effective component within a comprehensive HIV/STI control strategy.


HIV/AIDS Sexually transmitted diseases Incentive Conditional cash transfer Voucher Contingency management 

Supplementary material

10461_2013_588_MOESM1_ESM.docx (11 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 10 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ramon Lee
    • 1
  • Rosa R. Cui
    • 2
  • Kathryn E. Muessig
    • 3
  • Harsha Thirumurthy
    • 4
  • Joseph D. Tucker
    • 5
  1. 1.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Columbia University College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public HealthUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  4. 4.Department of Health Policy and Management, Gillings School of Global Public HealthUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  5. 5.UNC Project-China, School of MedicineUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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