AIDS Eliminated in a Decade?

MSNBC is reporting on an interesting mathematical model published in the journal The Lancet…

Gilks and colleagues used data from South Africa and Malawi. In their model, people were voluntarily tested each year and immediately given drugs if they tested positive for HIV, regardless of whether they were sick.

Within 10 years, HIV infections dropped by 95 percent. Other initiatives like safe sex education and male circumcision were also used.

The strategy would cut the estimated number of AIDS deaths between 2008 and 2050 by about half, from about 8.7 million to 3.9 million, leaving only sporadic HIV cases.

“This is certainly beyond the bounds of the current infrastructure for many countries, but that is not a reason not to think big,” said Myron Cohen, of the University of North Carolina, who has done similar research. He was not involved in the WHO study.

Experts think the strategy’s cost would peak at about $3.4 billion a year, though expenses would fall after an initial investment.

If we can bailout companies with $700 billion in less than a year, why can’t we invest $3.4 billion in one year?Even if the costs never diminished, its only $34 billion after ten years. I agree with the researchers – such a measure may not be logistically possible, but we should definitely be thinking big.

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