13 July 2007

Bigger is better in HIV fight

South Africa has contributed to a major international study that found that boosting the size of HIV prevention programmes increases their efficiency and helps prevent infections.

Boosting the size of HIV prevention programmes increases their efficiency and helps prevent more infections, concludes a University of Southern California, San Francisco study. HIV is the virus that causes Aids.

The study found that each doubling of an HIV prevention effort's size reduces costs by about a third. Some large programs are 10 times more efficient than smaller ones, which translates into the prevention of many more HIV infections using the same amount of resources.

This "scale-up, cost-down" effect was found in many countries and different kinds of HIV prevention programmes. The study was published Thursday in the BioMed Central journal BMC Health Services Research.

"Proven prevention methods need to be scaled up rapidly," lead author Eliot Marseille said in a prepared statement. "Therefore, the fact that costs tend to go down as scale goes up is good news. This could save millions of lives, as well as keeping in check the number of new patients requiring expensive anti-retroviral therapies."

For this study, the researchers analysed 206 HIV prevention programmes in India, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and Uganda. – (HealthDayNews)

Read more:
HIV/Aids Centre

July 2007


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Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria in 2005. She is a patients' rights activist and loves using social media to teach about HIV. She is in private practice in Johannesburg.

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