Costs of Providing Care for HIV-Infected Adults in an Urban HIV Clinic in Soweto, South Africa

Johns Hopkins University Center for Tuberculosis Research, Baltimore, MD, USA.
JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (Impact Factor: 4.56). 03/2009; 50(3):327-30. DOI: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181958546
Source: PubMed


As access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) in sub-Saharan Africa expands, estimates of the costs of initiating and maintaining patients on ART are important to program planning, budgeting, and cost-effectiveness analyses.
Total costs of providing HIV care, including ART, in an urban, nongovernmental, adult clinic in Soweto, South Africa, were estimated from October 2004 through March 2005. Personnel costs were estimated using individuals' work time and salary, and for across-organization services (eg, information technology), a proportion of entire annual costs was applied. Utilization of medications, laboratories, and radiographic tests were estimated by a random sample of patient charts (10%) and applied to the entire cohort.
Nine hundred sixty-six adult patients received care during the study period (75% female, median age 34 years, median CD4 count at ART initiation: 109 cells/mm). Seventeen percent were stable on ART at entry, 61% initiated ART, and 22% did not receive ART over the course of the study. Mean cost of the entire program (in US $) was $92,388 per month, and mean per patient cost of care-regardless of ART treatment status-was $98.1 per month. Among adults on ART, costs were lowest for those already on ART ($119.0/month) and highest for those initiating ART ($209.7/month) in the first month and $130.0 the following month. Human resources and antiretrovirals each accounted for one third of overall costs.
The monthly cost of treating HIV-infected patients in an urban South African clinic was highest in the month of initiation and lower for stable patients, with costs driven predominantly by antiretrovirals and personnel.

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