Earlier this month, I pointed to a good interview with Elizabeth Pisani, who has just published a book on HIV and the AIDS prevention industry. Now I see that she has an excellent article on the subject in this month’s Prospect magazine. Worth reading, and she repeats her sobering message that:
…living with HIV is not all abseiling down canyons at sunset. It’s about going to the clinic for viral load monitoring and taking toxic drugs, for the rest of your life, at an annual cost to the NHS (the National Health Service) of about £16,000 per person (which means an annual bill of about £1.2bn). And the virus is beginning to outwit some of the drugs we have developed, raising the prospect of strains of HIV that don’t respond to treatment. Plus, we don’t know what effects even the oldest drugs might have in the long term—many men who have been on antiretrovirals for over a decade have osteoporosis and failing livers; they’re suffering not from the infection but the remedy.