The Economic Consequences
of HIV in Central Asia:
Simulation Model Approach
This study suggests that HIV in Central Asia is likely to have a far-reaching impact on the economic development of the region. A slowdown in GDP growth and losses in GDP level may be accompanied by losses in effective labor supply, which would be worsened by negative population growth in some countries. The study also indicates that, at current prices, the costs of HIV treatment will not be sustainable by the public budget if the epidemic is not prevented, and/or treatment costs are not cut dramatically. As a policy implication, decisionmakers are advised to launch prevention programs, especially among highly vulnerable groups. Injecting drug users (IDU) are currently the group most at risk and, therefore, the most risky channel for HIV transmission. Preventing the spread of HIV among IDU is advisable to prevent subsequent sexual transmission to vulnerable groups that do not inject drugs.
This study follows an interactive simulation approach to depict recent HIV/AIDS developments in the selected Central Asia countries (currently Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, and Uzbekistan) and predict the economic consequences of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the region, under various scenarios.
The computer model designed to mimic HIV/AIDS and economic developments connects input parameters and output variables. It has been successfully probed to predict the economic consequences of HIV/AIDS in Russia (used hereafter as a reference point; Ruhl and others 2003). Ten output variables display the human, economic and fiscal costs of HIV/AIDS. A total of 26 input parameters need to be determined to derive these results.