A new strategy in the fight against AIDS in Africa:

In the education study in Malawi's Zomba district, which has both high HIV rates and school dropout rates among young girls, the World Bank found cash payments for at least 75 percent school attendance each month reduced infection rates by 60 percent, compared to an unpaid control group. "Girls who received payments not only had less sex, but when they did, they tended to choose younger, safer partners," the World Bank said in a statement on the studies, which were released on the first day of the 18th International AIDS Conference in Vienna.

Cash transfers, the institution said, enabled a significant drop in what is called "transactional sex" among girls and young women who trade intercourse for assistance, gifts or money. Schoolgirls who received payment appeared to avoid older, wealthier men who are much more likely to be HIV positive than schoolboys, according to the study.

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