HIV/AIDS is much too complex a phenomenon to be understood only by reference to common sense and ethical codes. This book presents the cost–benefit analysis (CBA) framework in a well-researched and accessible manner to ensure that the most important considerations are recognized and incorporated.
This book argues that HIV/AIDS policies need to be evidence based and that CBA is the best way to assemble and summarize the evidence. The work explains why CBA is needed and highlights a number of myths, misinformation and counterintuitive results in the field, and critiques the Millennium Development Goals approach. It also presents HIV/AIDS as a hunger issue in sub-Saharan Africa and as a sexual transmission problem in the US. The roles of nutrition, income, education, religion, agricultural policy, concurrency and sexual networks are all examined. Robert Brent explains the main cost–benefit methods and applications, including threshold analysis, willingness to pay, cost minimization, cost-effectiveness, human capital theory and the value of a statistical life. Applications cover female education, possible vaccines, condoms, and various forms of treatment. He concludes by explaining how CBA incorporates social considerations such as equity.
With timely and controversial discussions, this book will be read with interest by AIDS activists, NGO members, policy-makers and public officials, as well as being accessible to non-economists interested in the subject of HIV/AIDS.