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Operations research promises continued gains for HIV treatment in resource-limited countries
Date:8/22/2008

NEW YORK (Aug. 22, 2008) -- In the past 10 years, the global campaign to expand treatment for millions of people with AIDS living in resource-limited countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, has gained substantial commitments in public and private financing, and has made major strides in making treatment available to those who need it. A new collaborative study by researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College and the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative explores how to combine engineering science with medical care to guarantee the long-term success of these treatment programs.

In an article published online this month in the BMC Health Services Research journal, the researchers show how the use of sophisticated mathematical modeling approaches used in the field of operations research can help maximize the efficient use of limited resources, notably antiretroviral drugs and medical personnel.

"Operations research offers a powerful set of tools that have been used successfully in everything from World War II to Wal-Mart-style logistics planning. These tools ought to be used to increase the success of existing programs and to help expand access to HIV care and treatment in resource-limited countries," says lead author Dr. Wei Xiong, instructor in public health at Weill Cornell Medical College. "For example, operations research could help with the planning of a national drug distribution system, or with predicting the demand for services at local clinics and the best ways to staff them."

"To date, HIV treatment scale-up has appropriately focused first on policy-level issues, such as program initiation and costs, and secondarily on operational-level issues," adds co-investigator Dr. Nathaniel Hupert, associate professor of public health at Weill Cornell Medical College and associate attending physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. "Now that many programs are in place, the potential gains from
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Contact: Andrew Klein
ank2017@med.cornell.edu
212-821-0560
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College
Source:Eurekalert

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