Treatment versus Prevention in the Fight Against HIV/ AIDS and the Problem of Identified versus Statistical Lives

Citation:

Frick, Johann. “Treatment versus Prevention in the Fight Against HIV/ AIDS and the Problem of Identified versus Statistical Lives”. Identified Versus Statistical Lives: An Interdisciplinary Perspective. Ed. Glenn Cohen, Norman Daniels, & Nir Eyal. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. Print.

Abstract:

For years, debates about the best way to combat the AIDS pandemic have pitted proponents of scaling up antiretroviral treatment for people suffering from AIDS against those advocating for more cost-effective prevention measures. In an important recent article, Dan Brock and Daniel Wikler argue that there is no sound moral basis to privilege the saving of identified lives through antiretroviral treatment, if preventive methods could save more (statistical) lives. In this chapter, I take issue with Brock and Wikler’s argument. In so doing, I develop a novel account of how the choice between “treatment” and “prevention” intersects the problem of identified vs. statistical lives. The chapter concludes with a postscript on “treatment-as-prevention” (TasP), a new avenue of AIDS research which stresses the preventive benefits of early antiretroviral treatment. I argue that, despite its medical promise, TasP does not transcend the ethical dichotomy between treatment and prevention explored in this chapter.

Full Text

Article (Penultimate draft. Please cite the published version).

Last updated on 09/16/2017