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Researchers estimate lives lost due to delay in antiretroviral drug use for HIV/AIDS in South Africa
Date:10/20/2008

he coverage as drugs became less expensive and more international resources became available to 50% coverage by 2005. This estimate is lower that the coverage achieved by both Botswana and Namibia. Then they estimated the average life-years that ARV therapy adds to patients with AIDS in Africa, based on primary studies, a meta-analysis, and a comparison with developed countries. The authors calculated that 2.2 million person-years were lost in South Africa from 2000 to 2005 by not implementing a feasible and timely ARV treatment program.

Calculation of Person-Years Lost/Mother-to-Child Transmission Prevention Failure

The authors estimated the number of children infected with HIV through vertical transmission, using data from the Actuarial Society of South Africa AIDS and Demographic Model and reducing that number to account for HIV prevalence in South Africa with population growth in mind. They estimated mother-to-child transmission prevention coverage using data from the PMTCT Task Team in South Africa and the Health Systems Trust. The research team assumed that it was feasible for South Africa to start a mother-to-child transmission prevention program in 2000, given that nevirapine was available for free, and estimated a ramping up to about 55% coverage by 2005. This estimate is less than the coverage achieved by both Namibia and Botswana. They used the HIV Network for Prevention Trials 012 trial, which showed that single-dose nevirapine decreased transmission by 47% compared with oral ZDV in a breastfeeding population. To estimate the person-years lost per case of HIV transmitted, the authors assumed a life expectancy of 48 years and then subtracted the average survival of an HIV-infected baby without ARV treatment. The authors estimated that 1.6 million person-years were lost in South Africa from 2000 to 2005 by not implementing a mother-to-child transmission prophylaxis program using nevirapine.


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Contact: Christina Roache
croache@hsph.harvard.edu
617-432-6052
Harvard School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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