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This article is part of the supplement: The OptAIDS project: towards global halting of HIV/AIDS

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Recommendations for increasing the use of HIV/AIDS resource allocation models

Arielle Lasry1*, Anke Richter2 and Frithjof Lutscher3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

2 Defense Resources Management Institute, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA, USA

3 Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada

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BMC Public Health 2009, 9(Suppl 1):S8  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-9-S1-S8

Published: 18 November 2009



Resource allocation models have not had a substantial impact on HIV/AIDS resource allocation decisions in spite of the important, additional insights they may provide. In this paper, we highlight six difficulties often encountered in attempts to implement such models in policy settings; these are: model complexity, data requirements, multiple stakeholders, funding issues, and political and ethical considerations. We then make recommendations as to how each of these difficulties may be overcome.


To ensure that models can inform the actual decision, modellers should understand the environment in which decision-makers operate, including full knowledge of the stakeholders' key issues and requirements. HIV/AIDS resource allocation model formulations should be contextualized and sensitive to societal concerns and decision-makers' realities. Modellers should provide the required education and training materials in order for decision-makers to be reasonably well versed in understanding the capabilities, power and limitations of the model.


This paper addresses the issue of knowledge translation from the established resource allocation modelling expertise in the academic realm to that of policymaking.