HIV/AIDS: Tracking Treatment
Mathematical simulation has helped shape policy about testing for and treatment of HIV/AIDS.
As some MGH researchers work to find new HIV/AIDS treatments, others study the impact of existing ones. Rochelle Walensky and Kenneth Freedberg use a mathematical simulation model called the Cost-Effectiveness of Preventing AIDS Complications (CEPAC) Model to evaluate clinical outcomes, costs and cost-effectiveness of strategies for treating HIV/AIDS and its complications. Their published analyses are influencing health policy in the United States and around the world. Here’s a sampling of their findings and the policy changes they helped effect.
|Through 2004, AIDS treatment in the United States resulted in the gain of 3 million years of life.||Used in Congress to motivate more funding for HIV/AIDS research.|
|Routine HIV testing every 5 years was found to have a cost-effectiveness ratio of $71,000 per year of life gained, whereas routine inpatient screening had a cost-effectiveness ratio of just $36,000 per life year.||In 2006, helped spur change in U.S. HIV screening guidelines to recommend routine HIV screening of all patients ages 13 to 64.|
|In South Africa, 1.2 million lives could be saved over the next five years if access to antiretroviral drugs is ramped up.||Helped U.S. ambassador to South Africa assess priorities for HIV care in the country.|
|In South Africa, starting antiretroviral therapy earlier during the course of the disease would, over the next five years, avert 220,000 opportunistic infections and 250,000 deaths.||Among the data used to motivate the World Health Organization to update its antiretroviral therapy guidelines to recommend that therapy start sooner.|