Study participants were chosen from an older project, the Malawi Diffusion and Ideational Change Project (MDICP), where respondents were offered free door-to-door HIV testing and randomly assigned cash incentives to obtain their results from nearby testing centers. Among MDICP participants that agreed to be tested for HIV in 2006, 1307 were randomly invited to participate in this trial.
Both individuals and couples were enrolled in the trial and had to maintain their HIV status for one year in order to receive a cash incentive. Couples had to maintain the HIV status for both members to receive the money. The incentive amounts included (i) zero (ii) 500 Kwacha (approximately 4 U.S. dollars) (iii) 2,000 Kwacha (approximately 16 U.S. dollars) for an individual, or zero, 1,000 Kwacha, or 4,000 Kwacha (approximately 32 U.S. dollars) for a couple. The incentives represented a significant amount of money for respondents, with the higher amount equal to approximately three to four months wages.