Earlier HIV treatment saves lives, money

July 26, 2011 at 2:01 AM   |   Comments

PROVIDENCE, R.I., July 26 (UPI) -- If anti-retroviral therapy for HIV-infected residents of South African was started earlier, it would extend the lives of thousands, U.S. researchers say.

Senior author Mark Lurie, a Brown University epidemiology professor and colleagues say if the South African government followed a recent recommendation by the World Health Organization to start anti-retrovirals sooner in the progression of the disease it would save the country money after 16 years.

"South Africa, the country with the most people living with HIV/AIDS in the world, has not yet adopted the WHO treatment initiation criteria," Lurie says in a statement.

"We used a mathematical model to predict the impact of adopting the new WHO guidelines on HIV prevalence, incidence and cost. We found that changing the treatment guidelines would have a profound impact on HIV incidence. It would require, over five years, an additional 7 percent investment, resulting in 28 percent more patients receiving HIV treatment. After 16 years, the cumulative net costs reach a break-even point."

The study, published in PLoS One, found the initial costs of adopting the new guidelines will be greater because of the increased number of people now eligible for treatment, in the long run costs would be saved because of the reduced number of new human immunodeficiency virus infections.

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Celebrity Couples of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
New research explains insomnia prevalence among elderly
Yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies at 95
New research details rare cancer that killed Bob Marley
New data shows Melbourne is most well-rested city in the world
Daughters more likely than sons to care for elder parents
Trending News