There are Fewer Cases of AIDS if There are Money Delivery Programs
Researchers from Brazil found that in areas of the country where the government has an income transfer program, AIDS cases fell by 10% in 8 years.
It must be remembered that AIDS is the syndrome caused by HIV and that it is considered the most serious stage of the disease. As long as a person takes their treatment correctly, they will not reach the AIDS stage.
The scientific team from the Federal University of Bahia reviewed the data available between 2004 and 2012 in municipalities that will have the “Bolsa Familia” program, which today still provides money to families living in poverty or extreme poverty.
The conditions for receiving the subsidy are that the boys and girls in the family have to get vaccinated and enrolled in school and that pregnant women attend all their prenatal check-ups. These visits include HIV testing to prevent transmission during pregnancy.
The researchers presented their study at the last HIV Science Conference, held virtually in July, and focused on information from people living with HIV. They wanted to know if receiving the subsidy affected the health of these people at all, and they found that it has a positive influence.
The Results are Better with the Subsidy
The clearest effects were identified, on one hand, in the municipalities with the highest incidence of AIDS, and, on the other, in those where the Bolsa Familia program covered more than 70% of the population. In the latter case, there was a 10% decrease in AIDS cases.
Furthermore, the effect was even more pronounced if women and boys and girls were looked at separately. AIDS diagnoses were reduced by 15% among women, and 39% among children under 14 years of age.
In addition, AIDS-related hospitalizations fell 26% and deaths from this same cause fell by almost 10% in the studied period .
The research team concluded that the Bolsa Familia program was associated with fewer AIDS diagnoses, hospitalizations, and deaths from this cause in the poorest areas with the highest burden of HIV.
For this reason, Dr. Gabriel Sampaio Morais, principal investigator of the study, considered that this type of program should be maintained and expanded, especially during the current crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to protect the most vulnerable from the effects of the other pandemic, that of HIV.
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