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Optimizing Infant HIV Diagnosis in Resource-Limited Settings: Modeling the Impact of HIV DNA PCR Testing at Birth
  • Published Date:

    Dec 01 2016

  • Source:
    J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 73(4):454-462.
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Filetype[PDF-205.71 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr
  • Description:
    Background Early antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation in HIV-infected infants significantly improves survival but is often delayed in resource-limited settings. Adding HIV testing of infants at birth to the current recommendation of testing at age 4–6 weeks may improve testing rates and decrease time to ART initiation. We modeled the benefit of adding HIV testing at birth to the current 6-week testing algorithm. Methods Microsoft Excel was used to create a decision-tree model of the care continuum for the estimated 1,400,000 HIV-infected women and their infants in sub-Saharan Africa in 2012. The model assumed average published rates for facility births (42.9%), prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission utilization (63%), mother-to-child-transmission rates based on prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission regimen (5%–40%), return of test results (41%), enrollment in HIV care (52%), and ART initiation (54%). We conducted sensitivity analyses to model the impact of key variables and applied the model to specific country examples. Results Adding HIV testing at birth would increase the number of infants on ART by 204% by age 18 months. The greatest increase is seen in early ART initiations (543% by age 3 months). The increase would lead to a corresponding increase in survival at 12 months of age, with 5108 fewer infant deaths (44,550, versus 49,658). Conclusion Adding HIV testing at birth has the potential to improve the number and timing of ART initiation of HIV-infected infants, leading to a decrease in infant mortality. Using this model, countries should investigate a combination of HIV testing at birth and during the early infant period.
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