Assisted partner notification services are cost-effective for decreasing HIV burden in western Kenya

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Abstract

Background:

Assisted partner services (aPS) or provider notification for sexual partners of persons diagnosed HIV positive can increase HIV testing and linkage in Sub-Saharan Africa and is a high yield strategy to identify HIV-positive persons. However, its cost-effectiveness is not well evaluated.

Methods:

Using effectiveness and cost data from an aPS trial in Kenya, we parameterized an individual-based, dynamic HIV transmission model. We estimated costs for both a program scenario and a task-shifting scenario using community health workers to conduct the intervention. We simulated 200 cohorts of 500 000 individuals and projected the health and economic effects of scaling up aPS in a region of western Kenya (formerly Nyanza Province).

Findings:

Over a 10-year time horizon with universal antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation, implementing aPS in western Kenya was projected to reach 12.5% of the population and reduce incident HIV infections by 3.7%. In sexual partners receiving aPS, HIV-related deaths were reduced by 13.7%. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of aPS was $1094 (US dollars) (90% model variability $823–1619) and $833 (90% model variability $628–1224) per disability-adjusted life year averted under the program and task-shifting scenario, respectively. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratios for both scenarios fall below Kenya's gross domestic product per capita ($1358) and are therefore considered very cost-effective. Results were robust to varying healthcare costs, linkage to care rates, partner concurrency rates, and ART eligibility thresholds (≤350 cells/μl, ≤500 cells/μl, and universal ART).

Interpretation:

APS is cost-effective for reducing HIV-related morbidity and mortality in western Kenya and similar settings. Task shifting can increase program affordability.

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