Print this page    •   Back to Web version of article

International News
Early HIV Treatment Is Cost-Effective Over Long Term, Study Says

October 31, 2013

"Treating people with HIV soon after they become infected is cost-effective over the long term, according to a study out Wednesday [in the New England Journal of Medicine] that focused on South Africa and India," Agence France-Presse reports. "By projecting the treatment costs over time and accounting for the effects of better health and fewer infections, researchers found long-term economic benefits in both countries," the news agency writes (10/30). "While most of the benefits of early treatment were seen in the HIV-infected patients -- fewer illnesses and deaths -- there were also added health care and economic cost savings from reducing HIV transmission, according to the study," HealthDay News reports (Preidt, 10/30).

Study co-author Rochelle Walensky of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) said, "In short, early [antiretroviral therapy (ART)] is a 'triple winner': HIV-infected patients live healthier lives, their partners are protected from HIV, and the investment is superb.... This study provides a critical answer to an urgent policy question," according to AFP (10/30). Co-author Kenneth Freedberg, director of the MGH Medical Practice Evaluation Center and professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, said, "We believe that continued international public and private partnerships can make [early HIV treatment cost effective] in other countries as well. With this kind of investment, we foresee dramatic decreases in infections and illness that could save millions of lives over the next decade," an MGH press release states (10/30).

Back to other news for October 2013

This information was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery. © Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report. You can find this article online by typing this address into your Web browser:

General Disclaimer: is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your health care provider.