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Cost-Effectiveness of Interventions to Improve HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Initiation, Adherence, and Persistence among Men Who Have Sex with Men.

Abstract

To help achieve Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) goals of reducing new HIV incidence, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) use and engagement must increase despite multidimensional barriers to scale-up and limitations in funding. We investigated the cost-effectiveness of interventions spanning the PrEP continuum of care.

Strategies averted 0.2-4.2% new infections and gained 0.0045%-0.24% QALYs compared to the status quo. Initiation strategies achieved 20%-23% PrEP coverage (up from 15% with no interventions) and moderate clinical benefits at a high cost, while adherence strategies were relatively low cost and low benefit. Under our assumptions, the adherence and initiation combination strategy was cost-effective ($86,927/QALY gained). Sensitivity analyses showed no strategies were cost-effective when intervention costs increased by 60% and the strategy combining all three interventions was cost-effective when PrEP costs decreased to $1,000/month.

Using a network-based HIV transmission model, we simulated lifetime costs, quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), and infections averted for eight intervention strategies using a health sector perspective. Strategies included a status quo (no interventions), three distinct interventions (targeting PrEP initiation, adherence, or persistence), and all possible intervention combinations. Cost-effectiveness was evaluated incrementally using a $100,000/QALY gained threshold. We performed sensitivity analyses on PrEP costs, intervention costs, and intervention coverage.

Men who have sex with men (MSM) in Atlanta, Georgia, a focal jurisdiction for the EHE plan.

PrEP initiation interventions achieved moderate public health gains and could be cost-effective. However, substantial financial resources would be needed to improve the PrEP care continuum towards meeting EHE goals.

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