Routine HIV Testing Cost-Effective in Antenatal Settings

HealthDay News — Routine HIV testing is both cost-effective and cost-saving in antenatal settings, according to a review published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Everistus Ibekwe, MPH, from Manchester Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a systematic review of published articles to examine the economic impact of routine HIV testing in antenatal settings. Ten articles were eligible and included in the review.

The researchers found that, compared to the alternatives, many programs that involved routine testing for HIV for pregnant women were cost-effective and cost-saving. Per case of previously undiagnosed maternal HIV-positive infection prevented, the cost savings were between $5,761.20 and $3.69 million. In the various settings there was a strong correlation between cost-effectiveness and the prevalence of HIV.

“Routine HIV testing is both cost-effective and cost-saving compared to the alternatives. However, there are wide variations in the methodological approaches to the studies,” the authors write. “Adopting standard reporting format would facilitate comparison between studies and generalizability of economic evaluations.”

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Ibekwe E, Haigh C, Duncan F, Fatoye F. Economic impact of routine opt-out antenatal HIV screening: a systematic review [published online March 2, 2017]. J Clin Nurs. doi: 10.1111/jocn.13787