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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


GOMEZ, Marcela. A comparison of three screening strategies for prevention of perinatal HIV infection in Colombia: a decision analysis model. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2008, vol.24, n.4, pp.256-264. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVES: To apply decision analysis to compare the cost-effectiveness of three strategies for HIV screening of pregnant women and to recommend the one most appropriate for the health care system of Colombia. METHODS: An economic study applying decision analysis to three types of HIV screening of expectant women: voluntary, universal, and optional. All the women in Colombia with unknown HIV status who were admitted for child birth were included. The study included all the direct medical costs incurred from the time of testing through the first year following delivery, according to the General System for Healthcare Social Security. Cost-effectiveness ratio and the savings of each of the strategies were compared. RESULTS: For every 10 000 women, the universal strategy detected five cases more than the voluntary strategy and seven cases more than the optional. The universal strategy carried a cost of approximately US$ 17 for each HIV-positive newborn; that is, less than half of that of the voluntary strategy (US$ 38) and less than the optional (US$ 24). According to the bifactorial analysis, the universal screening strategy was less costly than the voluntary and more effective than both of the others, regardless of prevalence, the false-positive rate of each method, and the rate of maternal compliance with screening. CONCLUSIONS: The screening strategy currently in use in Colombia is more costly (in both the medium- and long-term), less effective, and less capable of prevention, than the universal screening strategy. The recommendation to the national health authorities of Colombia is to begin screening all pregnant women for HIV infection using third-generation testing.

Keywords : Disease transmission, vertical; HIV; mass screening; perinatal care; costs and cost analysis; Colombia.

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