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


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.

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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.

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Correspondence to Molly Rosenberg.

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Rosenberg, M., Pettifor, A., Thirumurthy, H. et al. The Impact of a National Poverty Reduction Program on the Characteristics of Sex Partners Among Kenyan Adolescents. AIDS Behav 18, 311–316 (2014).

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  • Cash transfer
  • Sex partner characteristics
  • Adolescents
  • HIV
  • Kenya