Adolescent and young adult preferences for financial incentives to support adherence to antiretroviral therapy in Kenya: a mixed methods study

Ingrid Eshun-Wilson, Eliud Akama, Fridah Adhiambo, Zachary Kwena, Bertha Oketch, Sarah Obatsa, Sarah Iguna, Jayne L. Kulzer, James Nyanga, Everlyne Nyandieka, Ally Scheve, Elvin H. Geng, Elizabeth A. Bukusi, Lisa Abuogi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: To develop a patient-centred financial incentive delivery strategy to improve antiretroviral treatment adherence in adolescents and young adults (AYA) living with HIV in Kisumu, Kenya, we conducted a mixed methods study exploring preferences. Methods: A discrete choice experiment (DCE) and focus group discussion (FGD) were conducted simultaneously to identify preferences for five incentive delivery strategy features: value, eligibility, recipient, format and disbursement frequency. We used consecutive sampling to recruit AYA (14–24 years) living with HIV attending three health facilities in Kisumu, Kenya. We calculated mean preferences, willingness to trade, latent class membership and predictors of latent class membership. The FGD explored preferred incentive features, and, after deductive and inductive coding, qualitative findings were triangulated with DCE results. Results: Two hundred and seven AYA living with HIV (46% 14–17 years, 54% 18–24 years; 33% male sex, 89% viral load <50 copies/ml) were recruited to the study (28 October–16 November 2020). Two distinct preference phenotypes emerged from the DCE analysis (N = 199), 44.8% of the population fell into an “immediate reward” group, who wanted higher value cash or mobile money distributed at each clinic visit, and 55.2% fell into a “moderate spender” group, who were willing to accept lower value incentives in the form of cash or shopping vouchers, and accrued payments. The immediate reward group were willing to trade up to 200 Kenyan Shillings (KSH)—approximately 2 US dollars (USD)—of their 500 KSH (∼5 USD) incentive to get monthly as opposed to accrued yearly payments. The strongest predictor of latent class membership was age (RR 1.45; 95% CI: 1.08–1.95; p = 0.006). Qualitative data highlighted the unique needs of those attending boarding school and confirmed an overwhelming preference for cash incentives which appeared to provide the greatest versatility for use. Conclusions: Providing small financial incentives as cash was well-aligned with AYA preferences in this setting. AYA should additionally be offered a choice of other incentive delivery features (such as mobile money, recipient and disbursement frequency) to optimally align with the specific needs of their age group and life stage.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere25979
JournalJournal of the International AIDS Society
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • HIV
  • adolescent
  • antiretroviral
  • discrete choice
  • incentive
  • preference


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