Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Boosting HIV screening can increase survival and is cost effective


Expanded HIV screening can increase patient life span, prevent the spread of the disease, and is cost effective, researchers at Yale, Harvard and the Massachusetts General Hospital report in the February 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

The study’s findings are part of a two-paper series in NEJM on the value of expanded HIV screening in the United States. The Yale/Harvard study used different data and methods than another study by VA, Duke and Stanford researchers, yet both teams reached roughly the same conclusions. "The publication of these papers represents a golden opportunity to jump-start the expansion of HIV testing services in the U.S.," said Yale lead author A. David Paltiel, associate professor of health and policy administration in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale School of Medicine. "Our findings, coupled with those of our colleagues, firmly establish the great value of expanded screening."

Paltiel and his team developed a mathematical model of HIV screening and treatment to predict the costs and benefits of HIV counseling, testing and referral. They found that routine, voluntary HIV screening every three to five years is cost-effective by U.S. standards, in all but the lowest-risk populations. Frequent HIV screening in moderate-to-high-risk populations could produce life expectancy gains at costs that compare favorably to many commonly employed screening interventions in other chronic conditions, including breast cancer, colorectal cancer, diabetes and hypertension. Paltiel said that even in settings with HIV infection levels similar to the U.S. general population, one-time screening could deliver excellent return on investment.

"HIV is a severe disease that, left untreated, produces substantial morbidity and mortality," said Paltiel. "It has a long asymptomatic phase, which can be diagnosed using very effective, inexpensive tests. Most importantly, early detection speeds linkage to proven, life-prolonging care and effective counseling to prevent further transmission."

Rochelle Walensky, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard and a co-author of the study, added, "The HIV epidemic is no longer confined to a handful of easily identifiable risk groups, yet current approaches to HIV testing are still focused on these sub-populations. The result is that 280,000 Americans with HIV remain unaware of their infection. Efforts to promote and finance routine, population-based HIV screening should be pursued aggressively."

Douglas K. Owens, M.D., of the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, and his team at the VA, Stanford and St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, led another study in NEJM, which strongly supports Paltiel’s findings. They developed a computer model to estimate the health benefits and expenditures of performing voluntary HIV screening programs in health care settings. They also found that screening for HIV infection is cost-effective relative to other commonly accepted screening programs and medical treatments.

Referring to the Yale/Harvard findings, Owens said, "It’s exciting that a completely independent analysis had the same findings as we did. Both of these studies show that screening is life-prolonging and affordable."

The Yale/Harvard study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Other authors on the study included Milton C. Weinstein and George R. Seage III of Harvard School of Public Health; Kenneth A. Freedberg of the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard School of Public Health and Boston University School of Public Health; April D. Kimmel and Hong Zhang of the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School; and Elena Losina of Boston University School of Public Health.

Karen N. Peart | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIH scientists describe potential antibody treatment for multidrug-resistant K. pneumoniae
14.03.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

nachricht Researchers identify key step in viral replication
13.03.2018 | University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

TRAPPIST-1 planets provide clues to the nature of habitable worlds

21.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

The search for dark matter widens

21.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Natural enemies reduce pesticide use

21.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>