Table of Contents

Setting Priorities for HIV/AIDS Interventions

Setting Priorities for HIV/AIDS Interventions

A Cost–Benefit Approach

Robert J. Brent

HIV/AIDS is much too complex a phenomenon to be understood only by reference to common sense and ethical codes. This book presents the cost–benefit analysis (CBA) framework in a well-researched and accessible manner to ensure that the most important considerations are recognized and incorporated.

Chapter 5: What is Wrong with Setting any Targets?

Robert J. Brent

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, development economics, health policy and economics, public finance, social policy and sociology, health policy and economics


We will examine the desirability of setting targets in the context of the MDGs, though the considerations discussed apply to any set of targets, such as the recent “3 by 5 Initiative” whereby the WHO (World Health Organization) set out the target to put 3 million people into HIV/ AIDS treatment by 2005. The MDGs were derived from the Millennium Declaration, unanimously adopted by world leaders at the 2000 Millennium Summit. They have become an organizing framework for UN development work for both donors and developing nations. We will focus just on Goal 6, which is aimed at combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. There are two targets assigned to Goal 6 (UN Millennium Project, 2005, p. xvi): Target 7: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS Target 8: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases There are two main problems with setting any targets. The first involves their feasibility and second their desirability. FEASIBILITY What happens if the set of targets one specifies cannot be achieved given the resources, technology and time at hand? Say one can achieve Target 7 or Target 8, but not both. Which one does one try to achieve completely? Is achieving one target completely better than tackling both targets and achieving some, but not full success for either? Targets only give guidance for policy-makers when they can be met fully. DESIRABILITY Even if targets are feasible, are they desirable? If...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information