Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Get paid to get tested

In an effort to have more people in China get tested for HIV/AIDS, a program funded by the Gates Foundation is paying people to come get their blood tested. The initiative began in 2007 and will spend $50 million over a span of 5 years on preventing the spread of AIDS in China. There have been around 110,000 people tested due to this program. The people tested receive about $9 every time they are tested. If their blood comes back positive, they receive an extra $44 to be shared with the donor. The goal is to achieve the first step to ending AIDS, which is awareness. If those infected do not know they have the disease, they will not be seeking treatment. Hopefully, the monetary incentive gets more people to come out and be tested thus spreading the awareness and not the disease. There are often counseling offered to those that come and get tested if they return positive results. There is skepticism around this, between corruption from the government and people getting tested 3 times a day to get the money. Corruption is going to happen, but there still needs to be the outlet for those that need the help. It is nowhere near a perfect system, but it is working.

-Sara Frodge