[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Assessment of children's learning and performance in low and middle income countries has been critiqued as lacking a gold standard, an appropriate norm reference group, and demonstrated applicability of assessment tasks to the context. This study was designed to examine the performance of three nonverbal and one adapted verbal measure of children's problem solving, memory, motivation, and attention across five culturally diverse sites. The goal was to evaluate the tests as indicators of individual differences affected by life events and care circumstances for vulnerable children. We conclude that the measures can be successfully employed with fidelity in non-standard settings in LMICs, and are associated with child age and educational experience across the settings. The tests can be useful in evaluating variability in vulnerable child outcomes.
AIDS and Behavior 05/2011; 16(2):480-90. · 3.49 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Guidelines in sub-Saharan Africa on when HIV-seronegative persons should retest range from never to annually for lower-risk populations and from annually to every 3 months for high-risk populations.
We designed a mathematical model to compare the cost-effectiveness of alternative HIV retesting frequencies. Cost of HIV counseling and testing, linkage to care, treatment costs, disease progression, and mortality, and HIV transmission are modeled for three hypothetical cohorts with posited annual HIV incidence of 0.8%, 1.3%, and 4.0%, respectively. The model compared costs, quality-adjusted life-years gained, and secondary infections averted from testing intervals ranging from 3 months to 30 years. Input parameters from sub-Saharan Africa were used and explored in sensitivity analyses.
Accounting for secondary infections averted, the most cost-effective testing frequency was every 7.5 years for 0.8% incidence, every 5 years for 1.3% incidence, and every 2 years for 4.0% incidence. Optimal testing strategies and their relative cost-effectiveness were most sensitive to assumptions about HIV counseling and testing and treatment costs, rates of CD4 decline, rates of HIV transmission, and whether tertiary infections averted were taken into account.
While higher risk populations merit more frequent HIV testing than low risk populations, regular retesting is beneficial even in low-risk populations. Our data demonstrate benefits of tailoring testing intervals to resource constraints and local HIV incidence rates.