Test and Treat in Washington, DC: Evaluating the Costs and Benefits of a Comprehensive Strategy to Fight HIV/AIDS

  • Estelle R. Raimondo
Keywords: HIV, AIDS, Washington, DC, Test & Treat, cost-benefit analysis


This paper assesses the economic implications of an innovative approach to preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS in Washington, DC. “Test & Treat” is premised on the idea that the epidemic can ultimately be eliminated by testing people widely and regularly and by putting all infected persons on antiretroviral medicines upon diagnosis. The relative costs and benefits of Test & Treat are quantified, monetized, and compared to the status quo, which can be characterized as a ‘test and wait’ approach. This cost-benefit analysis concludes that under a plausible set of circumstances, and with a conservative estimate of the number of infections averted, the benefits of Test & Treat in Washington, DC would outweigh the costs of implementation.

Author Biography

Estelle R. Raimondo

Estelle R. Raimondo is a PhD candidate at the George Washington University’s Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration with a focus on program evaluation. Estelle also works as a graduate research assistant in the GWU Office of Survey Research and Analysis. Prior to joining GWU, she served as an associate evaluation specialist at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) where she conducted a number of evaluations, notably in Africa. Estelle holds a dual Master’s degree in international affairs from Sciences Po Paris and Columbia University (New York) that she earned as a Fulbright scholar.

The author extends her appreciation to the Policy Perspectives editorial team, particularly Tony Mastria, for bringing this project to fruition and for their iterative review of the article which tremendously enhanced its quality. The author expresses her gratitude to Professor Kathy Newcomer for taking the time out of her busy schedule to provide insightful comments on the paper. Finally, the author would like to thank her partner, Dominique, whose work on HIV prevention in Washington, DC, inspired the topic for this article, and Professor Joseph Cordes for his teaching of cost-benefit analytical skills in the course where this paper originated.