In the decades following the introduction of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) for HIV/AIDS, we’ve seen tremendous progress against this devastating disease. Death rates have dropped by close to 85%, and continue to decline as a result of these transformative medicines. But what would the world look like had HAART and the other medical innovations that built on HAART never been discovered?
A recent report from Truven Health Analytics tackles this question; researchers developed a statistical model that examines what the world would have looked like had innovation stopped prior to the development of HAART and the import advances that followed.
As a result of HAART, it is estimated that we were able to:
- Avoid over 862,000 premature deaths.
- Gain over 27 million life-years.
- Gain $615 billion in economic value over the cost of treatment in the United States alone.
Dr. George Hanna, well-known HIV/AIDS researcher and recent recipient of the PhRMA Research and Hope Award, collaborated with the Truven team on this analysis. On the Catalyst blog, he reflects on how HAART has transformed the disease, noting that, “Without these medicines and the innovations that followed we would have been on a very different trajectory and would be living in a far different world than we do today.”