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Journal Articles Health Policy Year : 2019

The economic returns of ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat

Erik Lamontagne
Mead Over
  • Function : Author
John Stover
  • Function : Author


BACKGROUND: In 2016, countries agreed on a Fast-Track strategy to "end the AIDS epidemic by 2030". The treatment and prevention components of the Fast-Track strategy aim to markedly reduce new HIV infections, AIDS-related deaths and HIV-related discrimination. This study assesses the economic returns of this ambitious strategy. METHODS: We estimated the incremental costs, benefits and economic returns of the Fast-Track scenario in low- and middle-income countries, compared to a counterfactual defined as maintaining coverage of HIV-related services at 2015 levels. The benefits are calculated using the full-income approach, which values both the changes in income and in mortality, and the productivity approach. FINDINGS: The incremental costs of the Fast-Track scenario over the constant scenario for 2017-2030 represent US$86 billion or US$13.69 per capita. The full-income valuation of the incremental benefits of the decrease in mortality amounts to US$88.14 per capita, representing 6.44 times the resources invested for all countries. These returns on investment vary by region, with the largest return in the Asia-Pacific region, followed by Eastern and Southern Africa. Returns using the productivity approach are smaller but ranked similarly across regions. INTERPRETATION: In all regions, the economic and social value of the additional life-years saved by the Fast-Track approach exceeds its incremental costs, implying that this strategy for ending the AIDS epidemic is a sound economic investment.

Dates and versions

hal-01994510 , version 1 (25-01-2019)



Erik Lamontagne, Mead Over, John Stover. The economic returns of ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat. Health Policy, 2019, 123 (1), pp.104-108. ⟨10.1016/j.healthpol.2018.11.007⟩. ⟨hal-01994510⟩
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