Policy Perspectives Logo

The Journal of the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at The George Washington University


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.

Full Text