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The Economics of HIV/AIDS in Low-Income Countries: The Case for Prevention

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  • David Canning

Abstract

There are two approaches to reducing the burden of sickness and death associated with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which leads to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS): treatment and prevention. Despite large international aid flows for HIV/AIDS, the needs for prevention and treatment in low- and middle-income countries outstrip the resources available. Thus, it becomes necessary to set priorities. With limited resources, should the focus of efforts to combat HIV/AIDS be on prevention or treatment? I discuss the range of prevention and treatment alternatives and examine their cost effectiveness. I consider various arguments that have been raised against the use of cost-effectiveness analysis in setting public policy priorities for the response to HIV/AIDS in developing countries. I conclude that promoting AIDS treatment using antiretrovirals in resource-constrained countries comes at a huge cost in terms of avoidable deaths that could be prevented through interventions that would substantially lower the scale of the epidemic.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.20.3.121
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 20 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (Summer)
Pages: 121-142

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:20:y:2006:i:3:p:121-142

Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.20.3.121
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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. World Bank, 2010. "Malawi - Country Economic Memorandum : Seizing Opportunities for Growth through Regional Integration and Trade - Summary of Main Finding and Recommendations," World Bank Other Operational Studies 2954, The World Bank.
  2. Zivin, Joshua Graff & Thirumurthy, Harsha & Goldstein, Markus, 2009. "AIDS treatment and intrahousehold resource allocation: Children's nutrition and schooling in Kenya," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 1008-1015, August.
  3. Jamsheed Shorish, 2007. "Welfare analysis of HIV/AIDS: Formulating and computing a continuous time overlapping generations policy model," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0709, Economics, The University of Manchester.
  4. David Canning & Ajay Mahal & Kunle Odumosu & Prosper OkonkwoZhiwei, 2006. "Assessing the Economic Impact of HIV/AIDS on Nigerian Households: A Propensity Score Matching Approach," PGDA Working Papers 1606, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
  5. Jeremy Greenwood & Philipp Kircher & Cezar Santos & Michèle Tertilt, 2013. "An Equilibrium Model of the African HIV/AIDS Epidemic," NBER Working Papers 18953, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Patrick J. McEwan, 2011. "Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Education and Health Interventions in Developing Countries," SPD Working Papers 1102, Inter-American Development Bank, Office of Strategic Planning and Development Effectiveness (SPD).
  7. Julia Fimpel & Michael Stolpe, 2010. "The welfare costs of HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe: an empirical assessment using the economic value-of-life approach," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 305-322, June.
  8. Yusuf, Shahid & Nabeshima, Kaoru & Wei Ha, 2007. "What makes cities healthy ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4107, The World Bank.
  9. Ojeaga, Paul, 2012. "Economic policy, does It help life expectancy? an african evidence of the role of economic policy on longevity," MPRA Paper 40199, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. William W. Olney, 2011. "Remittances and the Wage Impact of Immigration," Department of Economics Working Papers 2011-13, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  11. Aureo de Paula & Gil Shapira & Petra E. Todd, 2008. "How Beliefs About HIV Status affect Risky Behaviors: Evidence From Malawi, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 08-041, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 02 Dec 2008.
  12. William Easterly, 2009. "Can the West Save Africa?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 373-447, June.
  13. David Canning & Diana Bowser, 2011. "Investing in Health to Improve the Wellbeing of the Disadvantaged: Reversing the Augment of the Marmot Reports," PGDA Working Papers 7811, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
  14. Michael Richards, 2012. "Using the economics of certification to improve the safety and quality of male circumcision in developing countries," Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 77-85, March.
  15. Nicholas Wilson, 2011. "Fertility Responses to Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV," Department of Economics Working Papers 2011-11, Department of Economics, Williams College, revised Sep 2011.

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