The Anomalous Case of HIV/AIDS

A critical response to Clive Bell & Maureen Lewis, ‘The Economic Implications of Epidemics Old and New’

Barrie Craven, Christian Fiala, Etienne de Harven & Gordon Stewart

Published: March 2005

In a recent issue of World Economics (Vol. 5, No. 4, 2004) Bell and Lewis discuss ‘The Economic Implications of Epidemics Old and New’. In their article those authors examine several historic and recent epidemics including HIV/AIDS, currently regarded as the greatest threat to economic and human survival in the affected countries. Craven et al. are responding to the authors’ views about HIV/AIDS because they think that they have misinterpreted the record, and accepted conventional but questionable assumptions about the epidemiology, morbidity and mortality of this syndrome which varies in distribution geographically and statistically, and therefore in economic impact. Craven et al. suggest reasons for this misinterpretation and offer an alternative analysis of the epidemic, with very different human and economic implications.

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