Improving the Efficiency of the HIV/AIDS Policy Response: A Guide to Resource Allocation Modeling

Authors: James G. Kahn, Lori Bollinger, John Stover, Elliot Marseille


The rate of preventing HIV/AIDS has slowed in recent years, making cost-effectiveness in allocating resources essential in pursuing UNAIDS goal of “Getting to Zero.” Several allocation models (OneHealth Tool, Optima HIV, the AIDS Epidemic Model (AEM), Epidemiological Modeling (EMOD),; and Global Health Decisions (GHD)) are compared, and the choice of model for a specific user depends on the user’s needs and the models’ intended uses, strengths, and limitations. An activity called What Works Reviews (WWR) addresses a perceived gap in the availability of information about intervention efficacy in HIV/AIDS treatment. With the availability of multiple cost­effectiveness models, the issue that arises is the relative merits of multiple models versus convergence on a single model. Controversies in modeling raise ethical questions as well as methodological concerns and questions on how the incremental cost­effectiveness ratio is calculated. A long­term challenge for models is keeping up with an ever­-evolving set of prevention and treatment approaches.