Article

Rational Choices for Allocating Antiretrovirals in Africa: Treatment Equity, Epidemiological Efficiency, and Feasibility

University of California, Los Angeles, Los Ángeles, California, United States
PLoS Medicine (Impact Factor: 14.43). 04/2006; 3(3):e160. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0030160
Source: PubMed

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    • "As well as the overall proportion of a population accessing ART, there are different notions of ethical treatment delivery. One principle highlighted in previous work is egalitarian equity (distribution of healthcare equally among groups that differ in socioeconomic circumstances) [8,22,27]. The observation that the profile of household assets for those accessing ART does not differ significantly from that of the population infected with HIV, suggests that the ethical principle of egalitarian equity is being observed with regard to wealth. "
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    ABSTRACT: KwaZulu-Natal is the South African province worst affected by HIV and the focus of early modeling studies investigating strategies of antiretroviral treatment (ART) delivery. The reality of antiretroviral roll-out through primary care has differed from that anticipated and real world data are needed to inform the planning of further scaling up of services. We investigated the factors associated with uptake of antiretroviral treatment through a primary healthcare system in rural South Africa. Detailed demographic, HIV surveillance and geographic information system (GIS) data were used to estimate the proportion of HIV positive adults accessing antiretroviral treatment within northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa in the period from initiation of antiretroviral roll-out until the end of 2008. Demographic, spatial and socioeconomic factors influencing the likelihood of individuals accessing antiretroviral treatment were explored using multivariable analysis. Mean uptake of ART among HIV positive resident adults was 21.0% (95%CI 20.1-21.9). Uptake among HIV positive men (19.2%) was slightly lower than women (21.8%, P = 0.011). An individual's likelihood of accessing ART was not associated with level of education, household assets or urban/rural locale. ART uptake was strongly negatively associated with distance from the nearest primary healthcare facility (aOR = 0.728 per square-root transformed km, 95%CI 0.658-0.963, P = 0.002). Despite concerns about the equitable nature of antiretroviral treatment rollout, we find very few differences in ART uptake across a range of socio-demographic variables in a rural South African population. However, even when socio-demographic factors were taken into account, individuals living further away from primary healthcare clinics were still significantly less likely to be accessing ART.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2010 · BMC Public Health
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    • "Sometimes, programs and policies do not consider special socioeconomic group, but impede drug availability in the areas with high rate of HIV-infected patients, or oblige patients to make copayments (16). Targeting high risk group of patients impose some limitations because, mostly, their identification is not easily possible and this term in high prevalence populations like African countries does not make sense (21). "
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    ABSTRACT: Financial shortage in resource-limited and poor countries restricts treatment in HIV-infected patients especially in poor countries. Higher HIV prevalence in poorer countries makes drug rationing a real concern. Different countries solve the problem with different methods regarding WHO guidelines, but fairness and equity should be a major consideration in drug rationing. This paper is aimed at reviewing different strategic approaches to drug rationing in AIDS treatment and then discusses pharmacists' role. In conclusion, there is no fair and equitable strategy, and in each society, cultural, ethical and socioeconomic issues along with considering a critical role for pharmacists must be taken into account.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2010 · Journal of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: The emergence of drug resistance in treated populations and the transmission of drug resistant strains to newly infected individuals are important public health concerns in the prevention and control of infectious diseases such as HIV and influenza. Mathematical modelling may help guide the design of treatment programs and also may help us better understand the potential benefits and limitations of prevention strategies. To explore further the potential synergies between modelling of drug resistance in HIV and in pandemic influenza, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Mathematics for Information Technology and Complex Systems brought together selected scientists and public health experts for a workshop in Ottawa in January 2007, to discuss the emergence and transmission of HIV antiviral drug resistance, to report on progress in the use of mathematical models to study the emergence and spread of drug resistant influenza viral strains, and to recommend future research priorities. General lectures and round-table discussions were organized around the issues on HIV drug resistance at the population level, HIV drug resistance in Western Canada, HIV drug resistance at the host level (with focus on optimal treatment strategies), and drug resistance for pandemic influenza planning. Some of the issues related to drug resistance in HIV and pandemic influenza can possibly be addressed using existing mathematical models, with a special focus on linking the existing models to the data obtained through the Canadian HIV Strain and DR Surveillance Program. Preliminary statistical analysis of these data carried out at PHAC, together with the general model framework developed by Dr. Blower and her collaborators, should provide further insights into the mechanisms behind the observed trends and thus could help with the prediction and analysis of future trends in the aforementioned items. Remarkable similarity between dynamic, compartmental models for the evolution of wild and drug resistance strains of both HIV and pandemic influenza may provide sufficient common ground to create synergies between modellers working in these two areas. One of the key contributions of mathematical modeling to the control of infectious diseases is the quantification and design of optimal strategies, combining techniques of operations research with dynamic modeling would enhance the contribution of mathematical modeling to the prevention and control of infectious diseases.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2007 · BMC Public Health
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