Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

HIV/AIDS remains a leading global cause of disease burden, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). In 2020, more than 80% of all people living with HIV (PLHIV) lived in LMICs. While progress has been made in extending coverage of HIV/AIDS services, only 66% of all PLHIV were virally suppressed at the end of 2020. In addition to more resources, the efficiency of spending is key to accelerating progress towards global 2030 targets for HIV/AIDs, including viral load suppression. This study aims to estimate the efficiency of HIV/AIDS spending across 78 countries. We employed a data envelopment analysis (DEA) and a truncated regression to estimate the technical efficiency of 78 countries, mostly low- and middle-income, in delivering HIV/AIDS services from 2010 to 2018. Publicly available data informed the model. We considered national HIV/AIDS spending as the DEA input, and prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) and antiretroviral treatment (ART) as outputs. The model was adjusted by independent variables to account for country characteristics and investigate associations with technical efficiency. On average, there has been substantial improvement in technical efficiency over time. Spending was converted into outputs almost twice as efficiently in 2018 (81.8%; 95% CI = 77.64, 85.99) compared with 2010 (47.5%; 95% CI = 43.4, 51.6). Average technical efficiency was 66.9% between 2010 and 2018, in other words 33.1% more outputs could have been produced relative to existing levels for the same amount of spending. There is also some variation between WHO/UNAIDS regions. European and Eastern and Southern Africa regions converted spending into outputs most efficiently between 2010 and 2018. Rule of Law, Gross National Income, Human Development Index, HIV prevalence and out-of-pocket expenditures were all significantly associated with efficiency scores. The technical efficiency of HIV investments has improved over time. However, there remains scope to substantially increase HIV/AIDS spending efficiency and improve progress towards 2030 global targets for HIV/AIDS. Given that many of the most efficient countries did not meet 2020 global HIV targets, our study supports the WHO call for additional investment in HIV/AIDS prevention and control to meet the 2030 HIV/AIDS and eradication of the AIDS epidemic.

Original publication





PLOS Glob Public Health

Publication Date