[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evaluate the effect of antiretroviral therapy (ART) on South African HIV patients' economic well being, as indicated by symptoms, normal activities, employment, and external support, during the first 5 years on treatment.
Prospective cohort study of 879 adult patients at public or nongovernmental clinics enrolled before ART initiation or on ART less than 6 months and followed for 5.5 years or less. Patients were interviewed during routine clinic visits. Outcomes were estimated using population-averaged logistic regression and reported as proportions of the cohort experiencing outcomes by duration on ART.
For patients remaining in care, outcomes improved continuously and substantially, with all differences between baseline and 5 years statistically significant (P < 0.05) and continued significant improvement between year 3 and year 5. The probability of reporting pain last week fell from 69% during the three months before starting ART to 17% after 5 years on ART and fatigue from 62 to 7%. The probability of not being able to perform normal activities in the previous week fell from 47 to 5% and of being employed increased from 32 to 44%; difficulty with job performance among those employed fell from 56 to 6%. As health improved, the probability of relying on a caretaker declined from 81 to less than 1%, and receipt of a disability grant, which initially increased, fell slightly over time on ART.
Results from one of the longest prospective cohorts tracking economic outcomes of HIV treatment in Africa suggest continuous improvement during the first 5 years on treatment, confirming the sustained economic benefits of providing large-scale treatment.
AIDS (London, England) 09/2013; · 4.91 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 2013): Exploring impacts of multi-year, community-based care programs for orphans and vulnerable children: A case study from Kenya, AIDS Care: Psychological and Socio-medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV, 25:sup1, S40-S45
AIDS Care 06/2013; 25(Supplement 1):40 - 45. · 1.60 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: HIV-positive pregnant women are at heightened risk of becoming lost to follow-up (LTFU) from HIV care. We examined LTFU before and after delivery among pregnant women newly diagnosed with HIV. METHODS: Observational cohort study of all pregnant women ≥18 years (N = 300) testing HIV positive for the first time at their first ANC visit between January and June 2010, at a primary healthcare clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa. Women (n = 27) whose delivery date could not be determined were excluded. RESULTS: Median (IQR) gestation at HIV testing was 26 weeks (21-30). Ninety-eight per cent received AZT prophylaxis, usually started at the first ANC visit. Of 139 (51.3%) patients who were ART eligible, 66.9% (95% CI 58.8-74.3%) initiated ART prior to delivery; median (IQR) ART duration pre-delivery was 9.5 weeks (5.1-14.2). Among ART-eligible patients, 40.5% (32.3-49.0%) were cumulatively retained through 6 months on ART. Of those ART-ineligible patients at HIV testing, only 22.6% (95% CI 15.9-30.6%) completed CD4 staging and returned for a repeat CD4 test after delivery. LTFU (≥1 month late for last scheduled visit) before delivery was 20.5% (95% CI 16.0-25.6%) and, among those still in care, 47.9% (95% CI 41.2-54.6%) within 6 months after delivery. Overall, 57.5% (95% CI 51.6-63.3%) were lost between HIV testing and 6 months post-delivery. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings highlight the challenge of continuity of care among HIV-positive pregnant women attending antenatal services, particularly those ineligible for ART.
Tropical Medicine & International Health 02/2013; · 2.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To estimate the impact of antiretroviral therapy (ART) on labor productivity and income using detailed employment data from two large tea plantations in western Kenya for HIV-infected tea pluckers who initiated ART.
DESIGN: Longitudinal study using primary data on key employment outcomes for a group of HIV-infected workers receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) and workers in the general workforce.
METHODS: We used nearest-neighbor matching methods to estimate the impacts of HIV/AIDS and ART among 237 HIV-positive pluckers on ART (index group) over a 4-year period (2 years pre-ART and post-ART) on 4 monthly employment outcomes - days plucking tea, total kilograms (kgs) harvested, total days working, and total labor income. Outcomes for the index group were compared with those for a matched reference group from the general workforce.
RESULTS: We observed a rapid deterioration in all four outcomes for HIV-infected individuals in the period before ART initiation and then a rapid improvement after treatment initiation. By 18-24 months after treatment initiation, the index group harvested 8% (men) and 19% (women) less tea than reference individuals. The index group earned 6% (men) and 9% (women) less income from labor than reference individuals. Women's income would have dropped further if they had not been able to offset their decline in tea plucking by spending more time on nonplucking assignments.
CONCLUSION: HIV-infected workers experienced long-term income reductions before and after initiating ART. The implications of such long-term impacts in low-income countries have not been adequately addressed.
AIDS (London, England) 01/2013; 27(1):115-23. · 4.91 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There are few published estimates of the cost of pediatric antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Africa. Our objective was to estimate the outpatient cost of providing ART to children remaining in care at six public sector clinics in Zambia during the first three years after ART initiation, stratified by service delivery site and time on treatment.
Data on resource utilization (drugs, diagnostics, outpatient visits, fixed costs) and treatment outcomes (in care, died, lost to follow up) were extracted from medical records for 1,334 children at six sites who initiated ART at <15 years of age between 2006 and 2011. Fixed and variable unit costs (reported in 2011 USD) were estimated from the provider's perspective using site level data.
Median age at ART initiation was 4.0 years; median CD4 percentage was 14%. One year after ART initiation, 73% of patients remained in care, ranging from 60% to 91% depending on site. The average annual outpatient cost per patient remaining in care was $209 (95% CI, $199-$219), ranging from $116 (95% CI, $107-$126) to $516 (95% CI, $499-$533) depending on site. Average annual costs decreased as time on treatment increased. Antiretroviral drugs were the largest component of all outpatient costs (>50%) at four sites. At the two remaining sites, outpatient visits and fixed costs together accounted for >50% of outpatient costs. The distribution of costs is slightly skewed, with median costs 3% to 13% lower than average costs during the first year after ART initiation depending on site.
Outpatient costs for children initiating ART in Zambia are low and comparable to reported outpatient costs for adults. Outpatient costs and retention in care vary widely by site, suggesting opportunities for efficiency gains. Taking advantage of such opportunities will help ensure that targets for pediatric treatment coverage can be met.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(6):e67910. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction: After almost 10 years of PEPFAR funding for antiretroviral therapy (ART) treatment programmes in Kenya, little is known about the cost of care provided to HIV-positive patients receiving ART. With some 430,000 ART patients, understanding and managing costs is essential to treatment programme sustainability. Methods: Using patient-level data from medical records (n=120/site), we estimated the cost of providing ART at three treatment sites in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya (a clinic at a government hospital, a hospital run by a large agricultural company and a mission hospital). Costs included ARV and non-ARV drugs, laboratory tests, salaries to personnel providing patient care, and infrastructure and other fixed costs. We report the average cost per patient during the first 12 months after ART initiation, stratified by site, and the average cost per patient achieving the primary outcome, retention in care 12 months after treatment initiation. Results: The cost per patient initiated on ART was $206, $252 and $213 at Sites 1, 2 and 3, respectively. The proportion of patients remaining in care at 12 months was similar across all sites (0.82, 0.80 and 0.84). Average costs for the subset of patients who remained in care at 12 months was also similar (Site 1, $229; Site 2, $287; Site 3, $237). Patients not retained in care cost substantially less (Site 1, $104; Site 2, $113; Site 3, $88). For the subset of patients who remained in care at 12 months, ART medications accounted for 51%, 44% and 50% of the costs, with the remaining costs split between non-ART medications (15%, 11%, 10%), laboratory tests (14%, 15%, 15%), salaries to personnel providing patient care (9%, 11%, 12%) and fixed costs (11%, 18%, 13%). Conclusions: At all three sites, 12-month retention in care compared favourably to retention rates reported in the literature from other low-income African countries. The cost of providing treatment was very low, averaging $224 in the first year, less than $20/month. The cost of antiretroviral medications, roughly $120 per year, accounted for approximately half of the total costs per patient retained in care after 12 months.
Journal of the International AIDS Society 01/2013; 16(1):18026. · 3.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Zambia adopted Option A for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) in 2010 and announced a move to Option B+ in 2013. We evaluated the uptake, outcomes, and costs of antenatal, well-baby, and PMTCT services under routine care conditions in Zambia after the adoption of Option A.
We enrolled 99 HIV-infected/HIV-exposed (index) mother/baby pairs with a first antenatal visit in April-September 2011 at four study sites and 99 HIV-uninfected/HIV-unexposed (comparison) mother/baby pairs matched on site, gestational age, and calendar month at first visit. Data on patient outcomes and resources utilized from the first antenatal visit through six months postpartum were extracted from site registers. Costs in 2011 USD were estimated from the provider's perspective.
Index mothers presented for antenatal care at a mean 23.6 weeks gestation; 55% were considered to have initiated triple-drug antiretroviral therapy (ART) based on information recorded in site registers. Six months postpartum, 62% of index and 30% of comparison mother/baby pairs were retained in care; 67% of index babies retained had an unknown HIV status. Comparison and index mother/baby pairs utilized fewer resources than under fully guideline-concordant care; index babies utilized more well-baby resources than comparison babies. The average cost per comparison pair retained in care six months postpartum was $52 for antenatal and well-baby services. The average cost per index pair retained was $88 for antenatal, well-baby, and PMTCT services and increased to $185 when costs of triple-drug ART services were included.
HIV-infected mothers present to care late in pregnancy and many are lost to follow up by six months postpartum. HIV-exposed babies are more likely to remain in care and receive non-HIV, well-baby care than HIV-unexposed babies. Improving retention in care, guideline concordance, and moving to Option B+ will result in increased service delivery costs in the short term.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(8):e72444. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. We evaluated whether a pilot program providing point-of-care (POC), but not rapid, CD4 testing (BD FACSCount) immediately after testing HIV-positive improved retention in care. Methods. We conducted a retrospective record review at the Themba Lethu Clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa. We compared all walk-in patients testing HIV-positive during February, July 2010 (pilot POC period) to patients testing positive during January 2008-February 2009 (baseline period). The outcome for those with a ≤250 cells/mm(3) when testing HIV-positive was initiating ART <16 weeks after HIV testing. Results. 771 patients had CD4 results from the day of HIV testing (421 pilots, 350 baselines). ART initiation within 16 weeks was 49% in the pilot period and 46% in the baseline period. While all 421 patients during the pilot period should have been offered the POC test, patient records indicate that only 73% of them were actually offered it, and among these patients only 63% accepted the offer. Conclusions. Offering CD4 testing using a point-of-care, but not rapid, technology and without other health system changes had minor impacts on the uptake of HIV care and treatment. Point-of-care technologies alone may not be enough to improve linkage to care and treatment after HIV testing.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Federal expenditures are under scrutiny in the United States, and the merits of continuing and expanding the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to support access to antiretroviral therapy have become a topic of debate. A growing body of research on the economic benefits of treatment with antiretroviral therapy has important implications for these discussions. For example, research conducted since the inception of PEPFAR shows that HIV-infected adults who receive antiretroviral therapy often begin or resume productive work, and that children living in households with infected adults who are on treatment are more likely to attend school than those in households with untreated adults. These benefits should be considered when weighing the overall benefits of providing antiretroviral therapy against its costs, particularly in the context of discussions about the future of PEPFAR. A modest case can also be made in favor of having private companies in HIV-affected countries provide antiretroviral therapy to their employees and dependents, thus sharing some of the burden of funding HIV treatment.
Health Affairs 07/2012; 31(7):1470-7. · 4.64 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sixteen million children in developing and middle-income countries have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS, and at least another million children per year are rendered vulnerable by parental HIV/AIDS-related illness. Since 2003 the US government has provided approximately $1.6 billion to give four million of these children care and support through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). We conducted five studies to evaluate the effectiveness of PEPFAR's interventions for such children in East Africa and southern Africa. We found evidence of beneficial changes in school enrollment rates and on the psychosocial well-being of children. However, we could not demonstrate empirically the impact of most of the PEPFAR initiatives that we examined, primarily because of a lack of baseline data and clear outcome and impact indicators. We also found that many programs were spread so thin across a vulnerable population that little in the way of services actually reached beneficiaries, which raises questions about whether PEPFAR funds are sufficient, or if the program is attempting to do much with too few resources. We offer several recommendations, including better measuring the effect of programs for orphans and vulnerable children by collecting baseline data and conducting well-designed, rigorous outcome and impact evaluations.
Health Affairs 07/2012; 31(7):1508-18. · 4.64 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: : A mobile HIV counseling and testing (HCT) program around Johannesburg piloted the integration of point-of-care (POC) CD4 testing, using the Pima analyzer, to improve linkages to HIV care. We report results from this pilot program for patients testing positive (n = 508) from May to October 2010.
: We analyzed 3 primary outcomes: assignment to testing group (offered POC CD4 or not), successful follow-up (by telephone), and completed the referral visit for HIV care within 8 weeks after HIV testing if successfully followed up. Proportions for each outcome were calculated, and relative risks were estimated using a modified Poisson approach.
: Three hundred eleven patients were offered the POC CD4 test, and 197 patients were not offered the test. No differences in patient characteristics were observed between the 2 groups. Approximately 62.7% of patients were successfully followed up 8 weeks after HIV testing, with no differences observed between testing groups. Among those followed up, 54.4% reported completing their referral visit. Patients offered the POC CD4 test were more likely to complete the referral visit for further HIV care (relative risk 1.25, 95% confidence interval: 1.00 to 1.57).
: In this mobile HCT setting, patients offered POC CD4 testing as part of the HCT services were more likely to visit a referral clinic after testing, suggesting that rapid CD4 testing technology may improve linkage to HIV care. Future research can evaluate options for adjusting HCT services if POC CD4 testing was included permanently and the cost-effectiveness of the POC CD4 testing compared with other approaches for improving linkage of care.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Integrating POC CD4 testing technologies into HIV counseling and testing (HCT) programs may improve post-HIV testing linkage to care and treatment. As evaluations of these technologies in program settings continue, estimates of the costs of POC CD4 tests to the service provider will be needed and estimates have begun to be reported. Without a consistent and transparent methodology, estimates of the cost per CD4 test using POC technologies are likely to be difficult to compare and may lead to erroneous conclusions about costs and cost-effectiveness. This paper provides a step-by-step approach for estimating the cost per CD4 test from a provider's perspective. As an example, the approach is applied to one specific POC technology, the Pima Analyzer. The costing approach is illustrated with data from a mobile HCT program in Gauteng Province of South Africa. For this program, the cost per test in 2010 was estimated at $23.76 (material costs = $8.70; labor cost per test = $7.33; and equipment, insurance, and daily quality control = $7.72). Labor and equipment costs can vary widely depending on how the program operates and the number of CD4 tests completed over time. Additional costs not included in the above analysis, for on-going training, supervision, and quality control, are likely to increase further the cost per test. The main contribution of this paper is to outline a methodology for estimating the costs of incorporating POC CD4 testing technologies into an HCT program. The details of the program setting matter significantly for the cost estimate, so that such details should be clearly documented to improve the consistency, transparency, and comparability of cost estimates.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(4):e35444. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Simple interventions for improving health workers' adherence to malaria case-management guidelines are urgently required across Africa. A recent trial in Kenya showed that text-message reminders sent to health workers' mobile phones improved management of pediatric outpatients by 25 percentage points. In this paper we examine costs and cost-effectiveness of this intervention.
We evaluate costs and cost-effectiveness in 2010 USD under three implementation scenarios: (1) as implemented under study conditions in study areas; (2) if the intervention was routinely implemented by the Ministry of Health (MoH) in the same areas; and (3) if the intervention was scaled up nationally. Under study conditions, intervention costs were 19,342 USD, of which 45% were for developing and pretesting text-messages, 12% for developing text-message distribution system, 29% for collecting health workers' phone numbers, and 13% were costs of sending text-messages and monitoring of the system. If the intervention was implemented in the same areas by the MoH, the costs would be 28% lower (13,920 USD) due to lower costs of collecting health workers' numbers. The cost of national scale-up would be 97,350 USD, and the majority of these costs (66%) would be for sending text-messages. The cost per additional child correctly managed was 0.50 USD under study conditions, 0.36 USD if implemented by the MoH in the same area, and estimated at only 0.03 USD if implemented nationally. Even if the effect size was only 5% or the cost on the national scale was 400% higher than estimated, the cost per additional child correctly managed would be only 0.16 USD.
A simple text-messaging intervention improving health worker adherence to malaria guidelines is effective and inexpensive. Further research is justified to optimize delivery of the intervention and expand targets beyond children and malaria disease.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(12):e52045. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Information on the costs of implementing programmes designed to provide support of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere is increasingly being requested by donors for programme evaluation purposes. To date, little information exists to document the costs and structure of costs of OVC programmes as actually implemented "on the ground" by local non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This analysis provides a practical, six-step approach that NGOs can incorporate into routine operations to evaluate their costs of implementing their OVC programmes annually. This approach is applied to the Community-Based Care for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (CBCO) Program implemented by BIDII (a Kenyan NGO) in Eastern Province of Kenya.
The costing methodology involves the following six steps: accessing and organizing the NGO's annual financial report into logical sub-categories; reorganizing the sub-categories into input cost categories to create a financial cost profile; estimating the annual equivalent payment for programme equipment; documenting donations to the NGO for programme implementation; including a portion of NGO organizational costs not attributed to specific programmes; and including the results of Steps 3-5 into an expanded cost profile. Detailed results are provided for the CBCO programme.
This paper shows through a concrete example how NGOs implementing OVC programmes (and other public health programmes) can organize themselves for data collection and documentation prospectively during the implementation of their OVC programmes so that costing analyses become routine practice to inform programme implementation rather than a painful and flawed retrospective activity. Such information is required if the costs and outcomes achieved by OVC programmes will ever be clearly documented and compared across OVC programmes and other types of programmes (prevention, treatment, etc.).
Journal of the International AIDS Society 12/2011; 14:59. · 3.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To estimate rates of completion of CD4+ lymphocyte testing (CD4 testing) within 12 weeks of testing positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) at a large HIV/AIDS clinic in South Africa, and to identify clinical and demographic predictors for completion.
In our study, CD4 testing was considered complete once a patient had retrieved the test results. To determine the rate of CD4 testing completion, we reviewed the records of all clinic patients who tested positive for HIV between January 2008 and February 2009. We identified predictors for completion through multivariate logistic regression.
Of the 416 patients who tested positive for HIV, 84.6% initiated CD4 testing within the study timeframe. Of these patients, 54.3% were immediately eligible for antiretroviral therapy (ART) because of a CD4 cell count ≤ 200/µl, but only 51.3% of the patients in this category completed CD4 testing within 12 weeks of HIV testing. Among those not immediately eligible for ART (CD4 cells > 200/µl), only 14.9% completed CD4 testing within 12 weeks. Overall, of HIV+ patients who initiated CD4 testing, 65% did not complete it within 12 weeks of diagnosis. The higher the baseline CD4 cell count, the lower the odds of completing CD4 testing within 12 weeks.
Patient losses between HIV testing, baseline CD4 cell count and the start of care and ART are high. As a result, many patients receive ART too late. Health information systems that link testing programmes with care and treatment programmes are needed.
Bulletin of the World Health Organisation 09/2010; 88(9):675-80. · 5.25 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To estimate loss to follow up (LTFU) between initial enrollment and the first scheduled return medical visit of a pre-antiretroviral therapy (ART) care program for patients not eligible for ART.
The study was conducted at a public-sector HIV clinic in Johannesburg. We reviewed records of all patients newly enrolled in the pre-ART care program and not yet eligible for ART between January 2007 and February 2008. Crude proportions of patients completing their first return medical visit stratified by patient characteristics were calculated. A modified-Poisson approach was used to estimate directly relative risks of returning for their first return medical visit within 1 year adjusting for patient characteristics as potential confounders.
A total of 356 patients were identified. Two-thirds had a CD4 count > 350 cells/microl (median [IQR] CD4 = 458 [394, 585]) and were scheduled to return in 6 months for a first medical visit. Seventy-four percent of these patients did not return within one year for this visit. The remaining 36% of all patients had a baseline CD4 count 251-350 cells/microl and were scheduled to return in 3 months. Only 6% of these patients returned within 4 months; 41% returned within one year. Relative risks were positively associated with a patient being employed and negatively associated with the baseline CD4 count.
Given the high rate of LTFU immediately after enrolling in pre-ART care, it is clear that care programs are not expediting the timely initiation of ART. Significantly improved adherence to pre-ART care and monitoring for patients not yet eligible for ART is required for South Africa to achieve its AIDS strategy goals and reduce the problem of late presentation and initiation of ART.
Tropical Medicine & International Health 06/2010; 15 Suppl 1:43-7. · 2.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Improvements in physical wellbeing during the first six months on antiretroviral therapy (ART) are well known, but little is known regarding long-term follow-up. We conducted a prospective cohort study among 222 HIV-positive adult tea plantation workers in western Kenya to assess wellbeing over their first two years on ART. Study subjects completed a standardized questionnaire during repeat ART clinic visits. A 30-day recall period was used to elicit the number of days when subjects experienced poor health and the number of days that pain made it difficult to complete usual activities at home and work. A seven-day recall period was used to assess the severity of bodily pain, nausea, fatigue, and rash. Prevalence of most symptoms declined over time. A median of seven days poor health during the first month on ART declined to three days in the 24th month (p=0.043). For pain making usual activities difficult, a median of seven days during the first month on ART fell to zero by 12 months (p< or =0.0001) but increased to three days by two years. Any bodily pain (range 59-83%) and fatigue (range 51-84%) over the past seven days were common through two years. However, pain and fatigue often over the past seven days declined over two years (from 24-10% (p=0.067) and 41-15% (p=0.002)). Skin rash was rare at all times, though higher at two years (8.6%) than any other time. Initial improvements in physical wellbeing were sustained over two years, however, increased pain and skin rash at year two may indicate problems as treatment programs mature. These improvements in physical wellbeing will be important in sustaining the long-term success of HIV treatment programs.
AIDS Care 02/2010; 22(2):137-45. · 1.60 Impact Factor