What do we know about the cost–effectiveness of HIV preexposure prophylaxis, and is it affordable?

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The WHO recommends preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in populations at substantial risk of HIV. Despite a number of randomized controlled trials demonstrating its efficacy, and several ongoing implementation projects, PrEP is currently only available in a few countries. Modelling studies can provide useful insights into the long-term impact of introducing PrEP in different subgroups of the population. The review summarizes studies that either evaluated the cost–effectiveness or the cost of introducing PrEP, focusing on seven published in the last year.

Recent findings

These studies used a number of different types of models and investigated the introduction of PrEP in different settings. Among men having sex with men (MSM) in North America, PrEP ranged from being cost-saving (while benefiting population health) to costing US $160 000/quality-adjusted life-year gained. Among heterosexual sero-different couples, it varied from around US $5000 to US $10 000/disability-adjusted life-year averted, when PrEP was used until 6 or 12 months after the HIV-positive partner had initiated antiretroviral therapy (ART) in, respectively, Uganda and South Africa.

Summary

Future cost–effectiveness studies of PrEP should consider the HIV incidence, the level of uptake, the effect of its introduction on alternative prevention approaches, and the budget impact of rolling it out.

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