HIV/AIDS has been the largest adverse health shock in recent history, and has also been unique in terms of the international response it has elicited. The chapter outlines the course and state of the global HIV/AIDS response, and defines the economic focus of the book. What has been the impact of HIV/AIDS and the global response? What is the significance of HIV/AIDS and the global response from an economic development perspective? Has HIV/AIDS received too much money? How can the cost-effectiveness of specific HIV/AIDS interventions best be assessed, taking into account both the transmission dynamics of HIV, the health consequences of HIV/AIDS, and the costs caused by new HIV infections? What are the implications of the scaling up of treatment for the cost-effectiveness of HIV/AIDS-related interventions? What are the lessons for the design of HIV/AIDS programmes?
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