The Economics of HIV/AIDS in Low-Income Countries: The Case for Prevention
AbstractThere 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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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.
Volume (Year): 20 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (Summer)
Other versions of this item:
- David Canning, 2006. "The Economics of HIV/AIDS in Low-Income Countries: The Case for Prevention," PGDA Working Papers 1806, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
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