Early HIV Treatment: The Value in Life and Dollars

Bill Gardner writing on The Incidental Economist examines two studies in Health Affairs that look at “Treatment as Prevention: The Value of Early Treatment of HIV Infection” 

Compared to people who initiated cART late…, those who initiated treatment early (with a CD4 count of 350–500) could expect to live 6.1 years longer, and the earliest initiators (with a CD4 count of more than 500) could expect an extra 9.0 years of life.

cART is expensive, but it turns out that

[t]he total value of life expectancy gains to the early and earliest initiators of treatment was $80 billion, with each life-year valued at $150,000… The value of the survival gains was more than double the increase in drug manufacturers’ revenues from early cART initiation.

Clearly more studies similar to this are needed for other diseases. What are the benefits for life and what are the economic benefits. 

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