If you bribe male prostitutes in Mexico City to wear condoms, will they remain free of sexually transmitted infections?
The federal government is using your tax dollars to find out.
Sadly, I’m not kidding.
Since 2011, the taxpayer-funded National Institutes of Health has squandered $398,213 on giveaways to Brown University to determine whether male prostitutes in Mexico are less likely to obtain a sexually transmitted infection if they receive a cash handout for remaining infection-free.
The study takes 300 male prostitutes in Mexico City, ages 18-25, and divides them into three groups. The first group receives a bonus of 500 pesos every six months if they test negative for sexually transmitted infections, the second group snags 200 pesos and the third group gets no incentive for testing clean (but it would seem that not having a sexually transmitted infection would be incentive enough).
All 300 prostitutes receive 170 pesos a year just for being in the study.
If the study finds that bribing male prostitutes in Mexico is effective at increasing condom usage and reducing sexually transmitted infections, then what? Will U.S. taxpayers be on the hook for regular incentive payments to all Mexican prostitutes?
At a time when the federal government is hiking taxes, raising its debt ceiling and drowning in ever-deepening debt, the last thing Washington needs to do is ship our money to Mexico City to give a cash reward to prostitutes for not catching Chlamydia or Gonorrhea. But that’s not stopping them.