This study aimed to document spending patterns of young African women receiving cash transfers as part of HIV prevention efforts. Survey data from 1,214 young women in South Africa and qualitative data from 38 participants explored how a cash transfer among young women was spent, provided they attended school. During interviews, young women discussed the significant role of cash transfers for adolescent identity, specifically with regard to independence from family and status within the peer network. The study established that providing adolescents access to cash was not reported to be associated with social harms or negative consequences. Rather, spending of the cash facilitated appropriate adolescent developmental behaviours. The findings are encouraging at a time in which there is global interest in addressing the structural drivers of HIV risk, such as poverty, for young women.
BMC Public Health