Original Research

Do employees participate in workplace HIV testing just to win a lottery prize? A quantitative study

Martin Weihs, Anna Meyer-Weitz
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 14, No 1 | a722 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v14i1.722 | © 2016 Martin Weihs, Anna Meyer-Weitz | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 June 2015 | Published: 29 July 2016

About the author(s)

Martin Weihs, HIV/AIDS Sexually Transmitted Infections and TB, Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa
Anna Meyer-Weitz, School of Applied Human Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


Orientation: To encourage workers to participate in workplace HIV testing, some SouthAfrican automotive companies use lotteries. However, there is a lack of empirical evidence on how lottery incentives may influence employees’ workplace HIV counselling and testing behaviour.

Research purpose: Determine whether workers intend to test for HIV only to win a lottery prize.

Motivation for the study: The positive and also negative influences of lotteries on workers’ HIV testing behaviour need to be understood to avoid undue coercion in workplace HIV testing participation.

Research design, approach and method: Post-test only quasi-experimental studies were conducted the day HIV testing and lotteries were announced to staff in four companies using a cross-sectional, self-administered survey that measured workers’ workplace HIV testing behaviour intentions. Intention to participate in workplace HIV counselling and testing was used as the main outcome of respondents’ behaviour and investigated via the statement: ‘If the company would organise its on-site Wellness Day tomorrow, I would go testing for HIV tomorrow’. In a first setting, two companies’ workers had to test for HIV to be entered in the lottery (n = 198). In the second setting, two other companies’ workers did not have to test to be entered in the lottery (n = 316). Chi-square tests were conducted to measure significant differences between the two conditions distinguishing between permanent and non-permanent staff.

Main findings: No significant association was found between behaviour intention in the two settings for permanent workers’ workplace HIV testing intention ( χ2 = 1.145, p = 0.285, phi = -0.097). However, a significant association with a small effect size was found for non-permanent workers ( χ2 = 8.04, p = 0.005, phi = -0.279).

Practical/managerial implications: Results show that lotteries to encourage workplace HIV testing are very likely to help workers ‘do the right thing’ and unlikely to have a coercive effect if all staff attending HIV testing has participated in standardised HIV and AIDS workplace programme activities and is informed about the consequences of testing positive.

Contribution: A better understanding of how lotteries influence workplace HIV testing among workers of different work status and informed related recommendations.


HCT; incentives; non-permanent; workers; South Africa


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Crossref Citations

1. The influence of lotteries on employees’ workplace HIV testing behaviour
Martin Weihs, Anna Meyer-Weitz, Friederike Baasner-Weihs
African Journal of AIDS Research  vol: 17  issue: 1  first page: 9  year: 2018  
doi: 10.2989/16085906.2017.1377266