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Setting Priorities for Government Involvement with Antiretroviral

By Prescott, Nicholas

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Book Id: WPLBN0000042436
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 0.1 MB
Reproduction Date: 2005
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Title: Setting Priorities for Government Involvement with Antiretroviral  
Author: Prescott, Nicholas
Language: English
Subject: Economics, Finance & business, World Bank.
Collections: Economics Publications Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: The World Bank


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Prescott, N. (n.d.). Setting Priorities for Government Involvement with Antiretroviral. Retrieved from


Introduction: This paper examines four questions posed by economic analysis to help set priorities for government involvement with antiretroviral therapy for people living with HIV/AIDS. The main focus is on making decisions about policy relating to ARVs in developing countries where the needs are greatest and resource constraints are most binding. While the answers may vary considerably depending on individual country circumstances, the analytical foundations for setting priorities are the same. First, how does antiretroviral therapy link to broader health sector and country development objectives? Second, what other interventions need to be considered including the various ARV treatments? Third, which of these alternatives are realistically affordable given the country?s resource constraints? And fourth, which of the affordable alternatives are most efficient in achieving a favourable development impact? Linkage to development objectives Any consideration of government involvement with antiretroviral treatment for HIV/AIDS needs to start with a clear view of how such treatment links to broader health sector strategy and country development goals. Despite its terrible human toll, HIV/AIDS is only one of many health problems facing developing countries. And health improvement is only one of many pressing development challenges involved in raising people?s living standards -- from reducing illiteracy, to providing infrastructure and expanding job opportunities. Looking at this linkage just in terms of improving health requires an epidemiological assessment of the magnitude of illhealth due to HIV/AIDS relative to other health problems -- not only its importance today but also its significance tomorrow as morbidity and mortality from the epidemic continues to grow. A suggestive indicator of these relative magnitudes is the burden of disease due to disability and premature death from different causes. Recent estimates of the global burden of disease expressed in terms of the number of years of healthy life lost (Murray & Lopez, 1996) suggest that for developing countries...


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