RethinkHIV at
RethinkHIV at
RethinkHIV at Cambridge University Press

A  volume of new research has been published based on the RethinkHIV project to date. Thirty years after the identification of the disease that became known as AIDS, humanitarian organizations warn that the fight against HIV/AIDS has slowed, amid a funding shortfall and donor fatigue. Yet HIV is still the biggest killer of women of reproductive age in the world, and of men aged 15-59 in sub-Saharan Africa. Time is ripe for a reassessment of current policy and expenditure.

Rush asked the Copenhagen Consensus Centre to commission a group of leading health academics to analyze policy choices and identify the most effective ways to tackle the pandemic across sub-Saharan Africa.

RethinkHIV identifies effective interventions in the fight against HIV/AIDS across sub-Saharan Africa. It applies cost-benefit analysis to highlight investments and actions that can make a significant difference.

RethinkHIV commissioned eighteen research papers by teams of top health economists, epidemiologists, and demographers who examine the cost-effectiveness of a range of responses to HIV/AIDS in sub- Saharan Africa.

Body of research

Eighteen research papers have been written by teams of top health economists, epidemiologists, and demographers examining a range of responses to HIV/AIDS in sub- Saharan Africa under the following topics:

  • Efforts to Prevent Sexual Transmission
  • Efforts to Prevent Non-Sexual Transmission
  • Treatment and Initiatives to Reduce the Impact of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic
  • Vaccine Research and Development
  • Social Policy Levers
  • Initiatives to Strengthen Health Systems

Six key analyses, or ‘Assessment Papers’, are supplemented by twelve ‘Perspective Papers’. The body of research was released online in September 2011, and has been published in full in RethinkHIV by Cambridge University Press.

A panel of five eminent economists, including three recipients of the Nobel Prize, convened in late-September 2011 to carefully consider the research and engage with the authors. The Expert Panel was tasked with answering the question:

If we successfully raised an additional US$10 billion over the next 5 years to combat HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, how could it best be spent?

Nobel Laureate Expert Panel

After deliberating in a closed-door meeting, the Nobel Laureate Expert Panel provided their assessments, highlighting investments and actions that could be most effective avenues for additional funding.

Engaging Civil Society

To participate in a dialogue on the research and findings within sub-Saharan Africa, a Civil Society Conference and forums for youth were around the ICASA conference in Addis Ababa in December 2012.

RethinkHIV: the Book

In the late summer of 2012, the research papers, civil society and economist expert opinions were published as RethinkHIV by Cambridge University Press. Advance praise includes the statement by Professor Sir John Bell, President, Academy of Medical Sciences and Regius Professor of Medicine, University of Oxford:

“Setting priorities for how money could be spent most effectively to fight HIV AIDS in Africa is a key priority. This pioneering work shows how economic analysis can contribute to a prioritisation for spending in this vital area. It will be invaluable to those funding both research activities and healthcare programmes in Africa.”

This project is funded by Fondation Rush.