We propose to conduct a randomized controlled trial in collaboration with the Fundacion Raices, an NGO with strong ties to the local community of Esmeraldas, Ecuador. A total of about 3,000 subjects will be involved in the full-scale study over the course of 2 years. In partnership with the Fundacion Raices, the research team will set up stands at four public places in the city of Esmeraldas: the “malecon” (esplanade on the town’s waterfront), the “Centro Comercial Multiplaza” (Esmeraldas’ large shopping mall), the municipal market (a popular destination for groceries, etc.), and a public park located in the city center. Each stand will feature a sign inviting people to stop and “get their health checked”, and will provide free refreshments (juice boxes and water). A monitor will approach individuals at the malecon/shopping center/municipal market/public park and ask whether they are interested to learn about a health initiative by the Fundacion Raices and a group of public health researchers. If the person is interested, the monitor will begin the three steps of the experiment:
(1) The subject fills out a brief, anonymous survey with demographics, socio- economic characteristics, and whether they have been tested for HIV/AIDS in the past.
(2) The subject receives the script and actions associated with the experimental condition she/he is assigned to according to the randomization.
There are three experimental conditions:
T1 = “Information”.
T2 = “Active Choice”.
T3 = “Monetary incentive”.