28 November 2018
The new HIV treatment guidelines in China recommend antiretroviral therapy (ART) for all people living with HIV, but significant gaps in implementation still exist. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) can effectively reduce the risk of HIV transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM). This study assessed the epidemiological impact and cost effectiveness of PrEP, enhanced biomedical interventions and their combination among MSM in China.
A deterministic mathematical model was developed and projected over 20 years to assess the impact of the PrEP, biomedical interventions and their combinations. Incidence and prevalence of HIV were measured, and cost-effectiveness was assessed using incremental cost (international dollars, Int.$) per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained.
A total of 0.78 million new HIV infections were estimated to occur over the next 20 years if no additional interventions are implemented among MSM. The PrEP-only strategy covering 25–75% of HIV-negative high-risk MSM can prevent 0.09–0.20 million (12.1–25.7%) new infections, at a cost of 17,277–18,452 Int.$/QALY. The optimal cost-effectiveness path is from test-and-treat to the combination strategy of test-and-treat and PrEP. Some strategies could almost eliminate new HIV infections over the next 20 years.
PrEP, test-and-treat, and their combinations among MSM are effective and cost-effective relative to current policy. PrEP is an important and cost-effective addition to current policy in China.