How different are the costs and consequences of delayed versus immediate HIV treatment?
A new approach to HIV prevention, focusing on regular HIV testing and HAART provision regardless of CD4 count or stage of disease, has been proposed. In response to the debate over the affordability of this treatment-for-prevention strategy, we compared long-term costs and consequences of delayed versus immediate HIV treatment. The ultimate cost savings of delayed HAART initiation are likely to be small relative to the total cost of treatment, and may even be offset by excess indirect costs. On the other hand, HAART initiation shortly after HIV infection has a far greater potential to reduce the incidence of HIV and HIV-related illnesses – most importantly TB .
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