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The evolving cost of HIV in South Africa: Changes in health care cost with duration on antiretroviral therapy for public sector patients.
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. 2007 Jul; 45(3):348-354.A retrospective costing study of 212 patients enrolled in a nongovernmental organization-supported public sector antiretroviral treatment (ART) program near Cape Town, South Africa was performed from a health care system perspective. t-Regression was used to analyze total costs in 3 periods: Pre-ART (median length = 30 days), first 48 weeks on ART (Year One), and 49 to 112 weeks on ART (Year Two). Average cost per patient Pre-ART was $404. Average cost per patient-year of observation was $2502 in Year One and $1372 in Year Two. The proportion of costs attributable to hospital care fell from 70% Pre-ART to 24% by Year Two; the proportion attributable to ART rose from 31% in Year One to 55% in Year Two. In multivariate analysis, Pre-ART and Year One costs were significantly lower for asymptomatic patients compared with those with AIDS. Costs were significantly higher for those who died Pre-ART or in Year One. In Year Two, only week 48 CD4 cell count and being male were significantly associated with lower costs. This analysis suggests that the total cost of treatment for patients on ART falls by almost half after 1 year, largely attributable to a reduction in hospital costs. (author's)
The added value of a CD4 count to identify patients eligible for highly active antiretroviral therapy among HIV-positive adults in Cambodia.
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. 2006 Jul; 42(3):322-324.In a retrospective study of 648 persons with HIV infection in Cambodia, we determined the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of the 2003 World Health Organization (WHO) criteria to start antiretroviral treatment based on clinical criteria alone or based on a combination of clinical symptoms and the total lymphocyte count. As a reference test, we used the 2003 WHO criteria, including the CD4 count. The 2003 WHO clinical criteria had a sensitivity of 96%, a specificity of 57%, and an accuracy of 89% to identify patients who need highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). In our clinic, with a predominance of patients with advanced disease, the 2003 WHO clinical criteria alone was a good predictor of those needing HAART. A total lymphocyte count as an extra criterion did not improve the accuracy. Nine percent of patients were wrongly identified to be in need of HAART. Among them, almost 50% had a CD4 count of more than 500 cells/KL, and 73% had weight loss of more than 10% as a stage-defining condition. Our data suggest that, in settings with limited access to CD4 count testing, it might be useful to target this test to patients in WHO stage 3 whose staging is based on weight loss alone, to avoid unnecessary treatment. (author's)