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Identified versus Statistical LivesAn Interdisciplinary Perspective$
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I. Glenn Cohen, Norman Daniels, and Nir Eyal

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190217471

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190217471.001.0001

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Treatment versus Prevention in the Fight against HIV/AIDS and the Problem of Identified versus Statistical Lives

Treatment versus Prevention in the Fight against HIV/AIDS and the Problem of Identified versus Statistical Lives

Chapter:
(p.182) 13 Treatment versus Prevention in the Fight against HIV/AIDS and the Problem of Identified versus Statistical Lives
Source:
Identified versus Statistical Lives
Author(s):

Johann Frick

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190217471.003.0014

For years, debates about the best way to combat the AIDS pandemic have pitted proponents of scaling up antiretroviral treatment for people suffering from AIDS against those advocating for more cost-effective prevention measures. In an important recent article, Dan Brock and Daniel Wikler argue that there is no sound moral basis to privilege the saving of identified lives through antiretroviral treatment, if preventive methods could save more (statistical) lives. This chapter takes issue with Brock and Wikler’s argument. In so doing, it develops a novel account of how the choice between “treatment” and “prevention” intersects the problem of identified versus statistical lives. The chapter concludes with a postscript on “treatment-as-prevention” (TasP), a new avenue of HIV/AIDS research that stresses the preventive benefits of early antiretroviral treatment. It argues that, despite its medical promise, TasP does not transcend the ethical dichotomy between treatment and prevention explored in this chapter.

Keywords:   HIV, AIDS, Dan Brock, Daniel Wikler, treatment versus prevention, identified versus statistical lives, treatment as prevention, TasP, antiretroviral treatment

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