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Cost-effective: Universal HIV testing in India
Date:6/10/2013

he status quo, in which there is less-than-universal testing.

Here is what they found:

  • Testing the general population just once would be "very cost-effective" because it would cost $1,100 per year of life saved (YLS) in general and $800 per YLS among high-risk populations.
  • Testing the population every five years would be "cost-effective" with a price of $1,900 per YLS saved in general, and $1,300 per YLS among high-risk groups.
  • Testing annually would not be cost-effective for the general population ($4,000/YLS), but would be for high-risk people ($1,800/YLS).

The general trends of cost effectiveness remained even after "sensitivity" analyses in which the researchers entered different statistical assumptions in the model in case their assumptions were too optimistic. But to make testing the general population every five years no longer cost-effective, the researchers had to tell the model that only 20 percent of the general population would agree to testing and only 20 percent of positive patients would get care.

Addressing an epidemic

Venkatesh said the main benefit of national testing would simply be getting more people to learn they are positive and therefore to seek effective care before they have full-blown AIDS and a complication. A secondary benefit, however, would be to curb transmission of the virus, both because behavior can change and because therapy can reduce transmissibility.

"Universal testing can have a big impact in catching a large number of individuals who are infected and getting them to seek treatment and seek services earlier in the course of their disease," said Venkatesh, who traveled to India at least once a year for all eight of his years as an M.D. and Ph.D. student at Brown from 2005 to 2013. "The classic story in India has always been patients present to care, traditionally men, with TB, the most common opportunistic disease. Then they get
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Contact: David Orenstein
david_orenstein@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3 4

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