Rethink HIV Vaccine Research
The purpose of the RethinkHIV project is to identify and highlight the most cost-effective responses to HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) with economic analyses of the benefits and costs of specific interventions in six categories of responses to HIV/AIDS. These are the Assessment and Perspective Papers on the foruth of the six topics: Research and development of a HIV vaccine.
Though universal access to treatment is a morally compelling goal, the high costs associated with treatment argue for a strategy that emphasizes prevention. An AIDS vaccine is the ultimate goal of prevention – vaccination would provide a manageable and affordable way to confer protection against HIV infection. Yet AIDS vaccine development is proving to be enormously expensive. Is the perhaps $15-20 billion of additional resources that it may cost the world to develop an AIDS vaccine worth it?
The Assessment Paper on the topic of Vaccine Research is authored by Dean Jamison, Professor of Global Health at the University of Washington and Robert Hecht, Managing Director at the Results for Development Institute with Gabrielle Partridge and Kira Thorien, Results for Development Institute and Jared Augenstein, Yale School of Public Health.
Another Perspective by Steven Forsythe
Each Perspective Paper reviews the assumptions and analyses made within the Assessment Paper. In this way, a range of informed perspectives are provided on the topic.
The following Perspective Paper is designed to assess if the assumptions and conclusions in the Hecht and Jamison paper are supported by evidence. In other words, is there data which can lead policymakers to reasonably conclude that a doubling of the current budget for an AIDS vaccine would be reasonable and advisable based on this analysis? Written by Steven Forsythe, Senior Economist at the Futures Institute.
Another Perspective by Joshua Salomon
This perspective paper takes the assessment paper as a starting point, and proceeds in three main sections. The first offers some reflections on future health technologies. The second highlights the implications of key assumptions and modeling choices. The third presents some modest extrapolations of the analyses in the assessment paper to note other important considerations and tradeoffs that might be relevant to evaluating the economic attractiveness of investments for development of HIV vaccines, including a brief sketch of how vaccines might be compared to other options for research and development on new tools against HIV/AIDS.
A Perspective Paper by Joshua Salomon, Associate Professor of International Health, Department of Global Health and Population at Harvard University.