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International News

AIDS "to Make Less Impact on South African Economy"

July 14, 2006

A new study by the University of Stellenbosch's Bureau for Economic Research suggests HIV/AIDS will have less of an economic impact in South Africa than predicted in earlier World Bank estimates.

The 2003 World Bank report said the epidemic could push South Africa's economy perilously close to collapse through gigantic reductions in its gross domestic product (GDP). However, the bureau report, published Thursday by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, estimates HIV/AIDS would cut GDP growth from a 4.4 percent annual average during 2000-2020 to a 4 percent average.

The new study emphasizes the potential of antiretroviral (ARV) treatment to reduce the economic impact of HIV/AIDS. The bureau report estimated that the provision of ARVs, at 50 percent acceptance, would reduce the economic impact of HIV/AIDS by 17 percent between 2000 and 2020. However, the South African government has been criticized for its slow public rollout of ARVs and mixed messages regarding their efficacy.

The Gates Foundation's newly appointed head of global health, Tachi Yamada, announced that the foundation is taking measures to improve the efficiency of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment research. The foundation plans to introduce tougher early-stage HIV/AIDS research targets and tighten the selection criteria for experimental medical interventions before they enter last-stage research, he said.

Back to other news for July 14, 2006

Adapted from:
Financial Times (London)
07.14.2006; Andrew Jack, John Reed

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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