Optimizing infant HIV diagnosis with additional screening at immunization clinics in three sub-Saharan African settings: a cost-effectiveness analysis.

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Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Document Type: Report
Length: 9,040 words
Lexile Measure: 1510L

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Abstract :

Introduction: Uptake of early infant HIV diagnosis (EID) varies widely across sub-Saharan African settings. We evaluated the potential clinical impact and cost-effectiveness of universal maternal HIV screening at infant immunization visits, with referra to EID and maternal antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation. Methods: Using the CEPAC-Pediatric model, we compared two strategies for infants born in 2017 in Cote d'Ivoire (CI), South Africa (SA), and Zimbabwe: (1) existing EID programmes offering six-week nucleic acid testing (NAT) for infants with known HIV exposure (EID), and (2) EID plus universal maternal HIV screening at six-week infant immunization visits, leading to referral for infant NAT and maternal ART initiation (screen-and-test). Model inputs included published Ivoirian/South African/Zimbabwean data: maternal HIV prevalence (4.8/30.8/16.1%), current uptake of EID (40/95/65%) and six-week immunization attendance (99/74/94%). Referral rates for infant NAT and maternal ART initiation after screen-and-test were 80%. Costs included NAT ($24/infant), maternal screening ($10/mother-infant pair), ART ($5 to 31/month) and HIV care ($15 to 190/month). Model outcomes included mother-to-child transmission of HIV (MTCT) among HIV-exposed infants, and life expectancy (LE) and mean lifetime per-person costs for children with HIV (CWH) and all children born in 2017. We calculated incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) using discounted (3%/year) lifetime costs and LE for all children. We considered two cost-effectiveness thresholds in each country: (1) the per-capita GDP ($1720/6380/2150) per year-of-life saved (YLS), and (2) the CEPAC-generated ICER of offering 2 versus 1 lifetime ART regimens (e.g. offering second-line ART; $520/500/580/YLS). Results: With EID, projected six-week MTCT was 9.3% (CI), 4.2% (SA) and 5.2% (Zimbabwe). Screen-and-test decreased total MTCT by 0.2% to 0.5%, improved LE by 2.0 to 3.5 years for CWH and 0.03 to 0.07 years for all children, and increased discounted costs by $17 to 22/child (all children). The ICER of screen-and-test compared to EID was $1340/YLS (CI), $650/YLS (SA) and $670/YLS (Zimbabwe), below the per-capita GDP but above the ICER of 2 versus 1 lifetime ART regimens in all countries. Conclusions: Universal maternal HIV screening at immunization visits with referral to EID and maternal ART initiation may reduce MTCT, improve paediatric LE, and be of comparable value to current HIV-related interventions in high maternal HIV prevalence settings like SA and Zimbabwe. Keywords: Early infant diagnosis; HIV; paediatric HIV testing; HIV-exposed infants; immunization; prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A652701485