Book Launch

PerspectivesRethinkHIV: the Book

RethinkHIV was released by Cambridge University Press in September 2012. The book provides the first-ever comprehensive comparative cost-benefit analysis of responses to HIV/AIDS. 

RethinkHIV on
RethinkHIV on
RethinkHIV at Cambridge University Press

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RethinkHIV Research Papers

ObserverBreathing New Thinking into HIV Policy

All of the RethinkHIV research papers are available online for reading and download. This includes the draft versions of the 18 research papers that form part of the book RethinkHIV, written by teams of top health economists, epidemiologists and demographers.

You can also read other economic research papers commissioned by the Rush Foundation for RethinkHIV

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The Latest from RethinkHIV

Loud Hailer A New Economic Framework

1 December, 2012: World Response to AIDS needs more vigor: article in the Financial Times announcing new Rush Foundation-funded research


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What is RethinkHIV?

Expert PanelAbout the Project and the Rush Foundation

The Rush Foundation was founded to cut through the clutter of consensus solutions to provide fast, effective funding for innovative, disruptive ideas to address the pandemic and its social effects.


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More Investment in Vaccine Research Should Be Top AIDS Priority Say Nobel Laureates

More Investment in Vaccine Research Should Be Top AIDS Priority Say Nobel Laureates

Press Release, September 28 2011

Based on the first-ever comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of AIDS investments in sub-Saharan Africa, an Expert Panel of worldclass economists including three Nobel Laureates calls on policymakers to focus more resources on Vaccine Research to cut the delay in developing a life-saving vaccine. 

On the 30th anniversary of the discovery of AIDS, the Copenhagen Consensus Center and the Rush Foundation have partnered to launch RethinkHIV, a research initiative which brings together an Expert Panel of world-class economists, including three Nobel Laureates, to reach agreement on a set of bold, new, actionable priorities for HIV/AIDS spending in Africa.

The Copenhagen Consensus Center and the Rush Foundation commissioned an entire volume of new research exploring the costs and benefits of different responses to the AIDS epidemic in Africa for the project, RethinkHIV ( They asked a panel comprising Nobel Laureate Thomas Schelling, Nobel Laureate Vernon Smith, Nobel Laureate Edward Prescott, Vice Chancellor Ernest Aryeetey, and Professor Paul Collier, to consider that research over 2011, meet with the papers’ 30 research authors, and agree on the most compelling investments.

In addition to Vaccine Research, the RethinkHIV Expert Panel conclude that the top priorities for policymakers must be: Introducing Infant Male Circumcision to substantially reduce HIV risk for new generations; Ensuring that methods to prevent Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission reach 90% of pregnant women; Completely eliminating the possibility of HIV infection through blood transfusions; and finally scaling up treatment with life-saving anti-retroviral drugs while focusing first on patients with low CD4 counts.

“RethinkHIV is a significant contribution to our knowledge about the best responses to HIV/AIDS in Africa,” Nobel Laureate Edward Prescott said.

The Expert Panel expressed alarm about the lack of high-quality, existing, reliable research into the evidence of the effectiveness of AIDS interventions that are currently funded.

“There is an overwhelming need for policy-makers to be better informed when making decisions among competing HIV/AIDS priorities”, said Copenhagen Consensus Center director and Expert Panel convener Bjørn Lomborg.

The Expert Panel also identified proposals for AIDS funding where they believe additional resources should not be prioritized first, including the large-scale deployment of community health workers and the introduction of an alcohol tax to stem problem drinking.

The Expert Panel today present their recommendations to key organizations involved in the fight against AIDS, at an event in Washington, DC co-hosted by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

“At a time of dropping funding, RethinkHIV highlights the extremely strong case for maintaining our focus on AIDS in Africa”, Rush Foundation President Marina Galanti said.

“There is not only a compelling ethical case to respond to the level of need, but this project highlights the incredibly strong benefits from even relatively small investments in key areas,” Ms Galanti said.

The Ranking by the Expert Panel

  1. Scale-up vaccine funding by $100 million per year
  2. Introduce medical infant male circumcision
  3. Prevent mother-to-child transmission
  4. Make blood transfusions safe
  5. Scale-up ART enrolment
  6. Make medical injections safe
  7. Scale-up male circumcision
  8. Mass media info campaigns
  9. Large-scale testing and counseling
  10. Cash transfer to keep girls in schooling
  11. Reduce risky injecting drug user behavior
  12. Prevent Cryptococcal Meningitis
  13. Add gender and HIV training
  14. Introduce alcohol taxation
  15. Invest in community mobilization
  16. Cash transfer for counseling and testing
  17. Deploy community health workers
  18. Create an Abuja Goals Fund

The RethinkHIV Expert Panel's findings can be accessed in full here.

Dr. Lomborg and Ms. Galanti will be available in Washington, DC for interviews on September 28, and in New York for interviews on September 29-30. For further project information, or to arrange an interview, contact Kristine Heine (in Washington, DC) at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 202-371-9600, or David Young (also in Washington, DC) at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or +45 2782 0644.

The Copenhagen Consensus Center ( is a Danish state-funded thinktank internationally recognized for creating an economic framework and using Nobel Laureate expert panels to prioritize spending in response to the world’s biggest challenges.

The Center’s director, Bjorn Lomborg, is an Adjunct Professor at Copenhagen Business School, author of ‘The Skeptical Environmentalist’ and ‘Cool It’, and editor of ‘Smart Solutions to Climate Change’, ‘Global Crises, Global Solutions’ and ‘How to Spend $50 Billion to Make the World a Better Place’. Dr. Lomborg was named one of the world’s 75 most influential people of the 21st century by Esquire, one of the “50 people who could save the planet” by UK Guardian, one of the top 100 public intellectuals by Foreign Policy & Prospect and one of the 100 globally most influential people by Time.

Launched in 2010, the Rush Foundation ( is dedicated to providing fast, effective funding for innovative thinking in the fight against HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa The foundation aims to fund sustainable projects in sub-Saharan Africa focused on alleviating the pandemic through innovation in HIV provision, as well as shake up the status-quo in HIV thinking by spearheading thought leadership projects and debates that will help reframe HIV policy. Among other initiatives, the Rush Foundation has launched a grant programme with ActionAid in sub-Saharan Africa aimed at generating innovative, sustainable HIV initiatives to service local communities. The privately-funded foundation is the sponsor of RethinkHIV.