July 23, 2012
"Lack of money can no longer be considered a reason -- or an excuse -- for failing to treat all those with HIV who need drugs to stay alive, following game-changing work about to be published by the Clinton Foundation that shows the real cost is four times less than previously thought," the Guardian reports (Boseley, 7/20). A new study conducted by the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), in partnership with five African countries and the Center for Global Development, "provides new evidence that aggressive scale-up of high-quality treatment in developing countries is possible and sustainable," according to a CHAI press release (7/20).
According to the Guardian "[t]he work by the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) shows that the total cost of treatment in health facilities -- including drugs, lab tests, health workers' salaries and other overheads -- comes to an average of $200 a patient a year across Ethiopia, Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia -- four of the ... African nations studied" and "rises to $682 in South Africa, which has higher salaries and lab costs." The news service notes, "Until now the generally accepted total cost of treating a patient for a year was an average of $880 -- based on a study by [PEPFAR and] released at the last International AIDS Conference two years ago in Vienna" (7/20).