AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 311–316 | Cite as

The Impact of a National Poverty Reduction Program on the Characteristics of Sex Partners Among Kenyan Adolescents

  • Molly Rosenberg
  • Audrey Pettifor
  • Harsha Thirumurthy
  • Carolyn Tucker Halpern
  • Sudhanshu Handa
Brief Report


Cash transfer programs have the potential to prevent the spread of HIV, particularly among adolescents. One mechanism through which these programs may work is by influencing the characteristics of the people adolescents choose as sex partners. We examined the four-year impact of a Kenyan cash transfer program on partner age, partner enrollment in school, and transactional sex-based relationships among 684 adolescents. We found no significant impact of the program on partner characteristics overall, though estimates varied widely by gender, age, schooling, and economic status. Results highlight the importance of context in exploring the potential HIV preventive effects of cash transfers.


Cash transfer Sex partner characteristics Adolescents HIV Kenya 



The research was funded by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health through Grant Number 1R01MH093241 and by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development [T32 HD007168 and R24 HD050924] to the Carolina Population Center.


  1. 1.
    UNICEF, UNAIDS, WHO. Young People and HIV/AIDS: opportunity in crisis. New York: UNICEF; 2002.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Pettifor A, Macphail C, Nguyen N, Rosenberg M. Can money prevent the spread of HIV? a review of cash payments for HIV prevention. AIDS Behav. 2012;16(7):1729–38 Epub 2012/07/05.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lagarde M, Haines A, Palmer N. The impact of conditional cash transfers on health outcomes and use of health services in low and middle income countries. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009;7(4):CD008137 Epub 2009/10/13.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    The Kenya CT-OVC Evaluation Team. The impact of Kenya’s Cash Transfer for Orphans and Vulnerable Children on human capital. J Dev Eff. 2012;4(1):38–49.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Baird SJ, Garfein RS, McIntosh CT, Ozler B. Effect of a cash transfer programme for schooling on prevalence of HIV and herpes simplex type 2 in Malawi: a cluster randomised trial. Lancet. 2012;379(9823):1320–9 Epub 2012/02/22.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Karim QA. A Proof of Concept Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial to Evaluate the Impact of a Cash Incentivised Prevention Intervention to Reduce HIV Infection in High School Learners in Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. NIH Clinical Trials. (2012). Feb 2012.
  7. 7.
    HIV Prevention Trials Network. HPTN 068: effects of cash transfer for the prevention of HIV in young South African women. (2011). Accessed Nov 1 2012.
  8. 8.
    Government of Kenya: Cash transfer programme for orphans and vulnerable children. (2012).
  9. 9.
    The Kenya CT-OVC Evaluation Team. The impact of the Kenya cash transfer program for orphans and vulnerable children on household spending. J Dev Eff. 2012;4(1):9–37.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Handa S, Halpern C, Pettifor A, Thirumurthy H. Impact of the Kenya Cash Transfer for Orphans and Vulnerable Children program on HIV risk behavior. Washington: International AIDS Conference; 2012.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Deaton A. The analysis of household surveys: a microeconomic approach to development policy. Washington: World Bank; 1997.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. Basic report on well-being in Kenya. Nairobi: Ministry of Planning and National Development; 2007.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Handa S, Huang C, Halpern C, Pettifor A, Thirumurthy H. Can a poverty targeted program reduce teen pregnancy?. Baltimore: American Public Policy Association Annual Meeting; 2012.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kohler HP, Thornton R. Conditional cash transfers and HIV/AIDS prevention: unconditionally promising? World Bank Econ Rev. 2011;. doi: 10.1093/wber/lhr041 Epub November 2, 2011.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Molly Rosenberg
    • 1
    • 2
  • Audrey Pettifor
    • 1
    • 2
  • Harsha Thirumurthy
    • 2
    • 3
  • Carolyn Tucker Halpern
    • 2
    • 4
  • Sudhanshu Handa
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of North Carolina-Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Carolina Population Center University of North Carolina-Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  3. 3.Department of Health Policy and ManagementUniversity of North Carolina-Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  4. 4.Department of Maternal and Child HealthUniversity of North Carolina-Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  5. 5.Department of Public PolicyUniversity of North Carolina-Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

Personalised recommendations