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India Should Implement Population-Based HIV Testing

Noting the publication of a paper by Kartik Venkatesh of Brown University and Jessica Becker of Yale that asks “if it would be a good idea for the government of India to try, at regular intervals, to test the country’s population for HIV,” an editorial in The Economist states, “The short answer is that, if it were feasible, it would be.” The researchers used a cost-benefit analysis, and they found “testing Indian adults every five years would cost $1,900 per year of life saved, and would thus pay off handsomely,” the editorial writes. “Whether it could actually be done is another matter. But India takes AIDS seriously and the fact that the epidemic has not run out of control in the way that was once feared is at least in part the consequence of the country’s policies,” The Economist writes, concluding, “The will to test therefore probably exists. Dr. Venkatesh and Dr. Becker suggest it would be worth finding the means, as well” (6/15).