HIV Prevention More Cost Effective Than HIV Treatment
(Ivanhoe Newswire) – With new treatments for HIV many people with the disease can now live a full life, but it can come with a hefty price tag. A recent study suggests that giving antiretroviral drugs to at risk populations to prevent HIV would actually be more cost effective.
Study researchers analyzed thirteen modeling studies led by Gabriela Gomez from the Department of Global Health which looked at pre-exposure prophylaxis for populations of heterosexual couples, men who have sex with men, and people who inject drugs in several different regions including the United States and Southern Africa.
The study found that pre-exposure prophylaxis programs were the most cost effective when utilized in populations with a high risk of HIV exposure.
However, the risk of HIV was not the only factor related to the cost effectiveness of prevention programs; behavioral changes and adhering to the drug regimens also greatly influenced the success of pre-exposure prophylaxis programs.
“The cost-effectiveness of pre-exposure prophylaxis is likely to depend on considerations such as cost, the epidemic context, pre-exposure prophylaxis program coverage and prioritization strategies, as well as individual adherence levels and pre-exposure prophylaxis efficacy estimates,” the study’s authors were quoted as saying.
Further studies will need to be done to determine how these preventative programs can be most beneficial.
Source: PLOS Medicine, March 2013