Objectives: Areas with high HIV-incidence rates compared to the developed world may benefit from additional testing in blood banks and may show more favorable cost-effectiveness ratios. We evaluated the cost-effectiveness of adding p24 antigen, mini pool nucleic acid amplification testing (MP-NAT), or individual donation NAT (ID-NAT) to the HIV-antibody screening at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (Accra, Ghana), where currently only HIV-antibody screening is undertaken.
Methods: The residual risk of HIV transmission was derived from blood donations to the blood bank of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in 2004. Remaining life expectancies of patients receiving blood transfusion were estimated using the World Health Organization life expectancies. Cost-effectiveness ratios for adding the tests to HIV-antibody screening only were determined using a decision tree model and a Markov model for HIV.
Results: The prevalence of HIV was estimated at 1.51% in 18,714 donations during 2004. The incremental cost per disability-adjusted life-year (DALY) averted was US$1237 for p24 antigen, US$3142 for MP-NAT and US$7695 compared to the next least expensive strategy. HIV-antibody screening itself was cost-saving compared to no screening at all, gaining US$73.85 and averting 0.86 DALY per transfused patient. Up to a willingness-to-pay of US$2736 per DALY averted, HIV-antibody screening without additional testing was the most cost-effective strategy. Over a willingness-to-pay of US$11,828 per DALY averted, ID-NAT was significantly more cost-effective than the other strategies.
Conclusions: Adding p24 antigen, MP-NAT, or ID-NAT to the current antibody screening cannot be regarded as a cost-effective health-care intervention for Ghana.
- blood transfusion
- developing countries
- SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
- ACTIVE ANTIRETROVIRAL THERAPY
- RESOURCE-POOR SETTINGS
- COITAL ACT