NEW YORK — A new study has found that young gay men in Mexico City would pledge to stay HIV-free, attend a monthly safe-sex talk and take regular HIV tests to prove they were uninfected if they were paid $288 per year, the New York Times reported last week.
Male sex workers would accept just $156 for the same pledge, the study found.
Researchers at Brown University, the University of California at Berkeley and Mexico’s national public health institute conducted the study, published online by the European Journal of Health Economics, the Times reported. Treatment for HIV drugs costs the country’s public health system about $7,000 per year, so paying people to stay HIV-free might be a bargain in the long run, researchers said.
Researchers approached men aged 18-25 in gay bars, discos and the streets of the city’s red-light district. The 40-minute survey, taken on cell phone-size computers, increased or decreased the amount each man was offered until 70 percent answered yes, the Times reported.