In 2010 for the first time there was a plateau in the growth of the AIDS epidemic, but the current global financial crisis and drop in AIDS funding are threatening the sustainability of this achievement.
Growing evidence suggests that HAART is not just life-saving for those with HIV, but also a highly effective means of preventing HIV transmission. Despite this evidence, there is lingering ambivalence about the expansion of HAART coverage.
In this Essay we argue that the cost-effectiveness of HAART roll out has been significantly underestimated, as economic analyses have thus far not considered the secondary benefits of HAART, chief among them the impact of HAART on HIV transmission.
We argue that the strategic value of expanded HIV testing and expansion of HAART coverage has dramatically increased. This has opened the door for the possibility of wide-scale implementation of “Seek, Test, Treat and Retain” programs as a means to control HIV- and AIDS-related morbidity, mortality, and transmission at once.