In a recent issue of World Economics (Vol. 5, No. 4, 2004) Bell and Lewis discuss
‘The Economic Implications of Epidemics Old and New’. In their article those
authors examine several historic and recent epidemics including HIV/AIDS,
currently regarded as the greatest threat to economic and human survival in the
affected countries. Craven et al. are responding to the authors’ views about
HIV/AIDS because they think that they have misinterpreted the record, and
accepted conventional but questionable assumptions about the epidemiology,
morbidity and mortality of this syndrome which varies in distribution
geographically and statistically, and therefore in economic impact. Craven et al.
suggest reasons for this misinterpretation and offer an alternative analysis of the
epidemic, with very different human and economic implications.