The cost-effectiveness of scaling-up rapid point-of-care testing for early infant diagnosis of HIV in southern Zambia.

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From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 16, Issue 3)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 6,542 words
Lexile Measure: 1470L

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Abstract :

Introduction Early infant diagnosis (EID) and treatment can prevent much of the HIV-related morbidity and mortality experienced by children but is challenging to implement in sub-Saharan Africa. Point-of-care (PoC) testing would decentralize testing and increase access to rapid diagnosis. The objective of this study was to determine the cost-effectiveness of PoC testing in Southern Province, Zambia. Methods A decision tree model was developed to compare health outcomes and costs between the standard of care (SoC) and PoC testing using GeneXpert and m-PIMA platforms. The primary health outcome was antiretroviral treatment (ART) initiation within 60 days of sample collection. Additional outcomes included ART initiation by 12 months of age and death prior to ART initiation. Costs included both capital and recurrent costs. Health outcomes and costs were combined to create incremental cost effectiveness ratios (ICERs). Results The proportion of children initiating ART within 60 days increased from 27.8% with SoC to 79.8-82.8% with PoC testing depending on the algorithm and platform. The proportion of children initiating ART by 12 months of age increased from 50.9% with SoC to 84.0-86.5% with PoC testing. The proportion of HIV-infected children dying prior to ART initiation decreased from 18.1% with SoC to 3.8-4.6% with PoC testing. Total program costs were similar for the SoC and GeneXpert but higher for m-PIMA. ICERs for PoC testing were favorable, ranging from $23-1,609 for ART initiation within 60 days, $37-2,491 for ART initiation by 12 months of age, and $90-6,188 for deaths prior to ART initiation. Factors impacting the costs of PoC testing, including the lifespan of the testing instruments and integrated utilization of PoC platforms, had the biggest impact on the ICERs. Integrating utilization across programs decreased costs for the EID program, such that PoC testing was cost-saving in some situations. Conclusion PoC testing has the potential to improve linkage to care and ART initiation for HIV-infected infants and should be considered for implementation within EID programs to achieve equity in access to HIV services and reduce HIV-related pediatric morbidity and mortality.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A654395280