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AIDS. 2000 Oct 20;14(15):2383-9.

Cost effectiveness of expanded antenatal HIV testing in London.

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Groningen University Institute for Drug Exploration/Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy, The Netherlands.



Recently the Department of Health announced the introduction in England of voluntary universal HIV screening in early pregnancy to prevent vertical transmission. New data have shown the importance of HIV infection in infants born to mothers who were HIV-negative in early pregnancy and who acquired HIV later in pregnancy or during lactation. This requires consideration of repeat testing in late pregnancy and testing of partners of pregnant women (expanded antenatal HIV testing).


To estimate cost effectiveness of expanded antenatal HIV testing in London (England) within the framework of universal voluntary HIV screening in early pregnancy.


Incremental cost-effectiveness analysis.


Cost estimates of service provision for HIV-positive children and adults by stage of HIV infection were combined with estimates of health benefits for infants and parents and with costs of counselling and testing (testing costs). In a pharmacoeconomic model cost effectiveness was estimated for expanded antenatal HIV testing in London for universal and selective strategies.


Testing costs in the plausible range of pounds sterling 4 to pounds sterling 40 translate into favourable incremental cost-effectiveness estimates for expanded antenatal HIV testing in London which is already at low numbers of vertical transmissions averted per 100000 pregnant women who test HIV-negative in early pregnancy. Favourable cost effectiveness for universal expanded testing would require testing costs in the lower range, whereas selective expanded testing may produce favourable cost effectiveness at testing costs close to pounds sterling 40.


Based on pharmaco-economic considerations, the authors believe that implementation of expanded HIV testing in London should be considered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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