Providing Treatment to HIV-Positive People Must be Strategy Included in Fight Against AIDS, Editorial Says
The "grim notion" that allowing people with HIV/AIDS to die without treatment is less expensive than an "all-out" HIV prevention campaign "happens to be entirely wrong," a Minneapolis Star Tribune editorial says. According to economists who spoke this week at the International AIDS Society's 2nd Conference on HIV Pathogenesis and Treatment, the "least effective way to contain HIV is to ignore those already carrying [the virus]," the editorial says. AIDS "wrecks societies" and "leaves kids parentless, crops unplanted, incomes unearned, students untaught; it tears communities apart," according to the Star Tribune. With antiretroviral drug prices dropping, treating HIV-positive people "will be cheaper in the long run than letting people die," according to several economists, who said that the evidence supporting the findings is "indisputable," the editorial says. However, "AIDS cannot be fought successfully without shoring up developing countries' capacity to sustain themselves," according to the editorial. That means working to keep people alive and healthy for as long as possible so that they can help to raise children and hold society together, the Star Tribune says, concluding, "It's a matter of saving lives now in order to save more lives -- and more money -- later. Who will challenge the logic, or the humanity, of doing so?" (Minneapolis Star Tribune, 7/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.