In a letter to the Lancet Global Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine researchers Professor Charlotte Watts, Dr. Anna Vassall and Michelle Remme write that secondary schooling “might be as good an HIV investment as male circumcision.
The RUSH-funded researchers, members of the RethinkHIV consortium, say that the relevant question is what level of co-investment in education from HIV budgets could be justified, in view of the benefits against HIV. Secondary education is a sound economic investment in its own right but remains resource-constrained in many low-income and middle-income countries.
If the parties interested in HIV prevention contributed to educational funding up to the value of their next best investment (in this case, male circumcision), further schooling expansion could be achieved.
The researchers show that HIV budgets could contribute up to 4% of total costs for an additional year of secondary
RethinkHIV is a consortium of senior researchers from London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Imperial College London, Harvard School of Public Health, Centre for the Study of African Economies and Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University.
The consortium will evaluate new evidence related to the costs, benefits, effects, fiscal implications, and developmental impacts of HIV interventions in sub-Saharan Africa, in order to maximise contributions to the fight against HIV there.
The aim of RethinkHIV is to find ways of creating, optimising, and sustaining fiscal space for domestic HIV investment, as well as exploring long-term, sustainable national and international financing mechanisms. RethinkHIV is funded by RUSH Foundation.