HIV Treatment in Developing Countries Makes Economic Sense

A leading economist says it's economic "stupidity" not to treat the AIDS virus in the developing world.

An authority on the economics of AIDS, Jean-Paul Moatti, told an international AIDS conference in Paris that it's more expensive not to treat HIV than to treat it.

He says the prices of HIV drugs have come down and can be lowered further to make treatment in developing countries feasible. He also says studies show that resistance to treatment is no more common in the developing world than elsewhere and recent evidence has shown that treatment enhances prevention efforts, rather than hampering them.

An upcoming World Bank study predicts an economic collapse in South Africa within four generations if nothing is done to treat HIV. South Africa has the highest number of infections in Africa.

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