Economic Outcomes of HIV/AIDS Treatment in South Africa
By 2010, nearly 4 million people in sub-Saharan Africa were receiving antiretroviral therapy for HIV/AIDS. A large body of literature confirms the success of AIDS treatment programs in reducing viral loads and restoring the immune systems of adult patients in sub-Saharan Africa. Alongside these studies of biomedical outcomes of treatment is a small body of literature investigating the impacts of ART on patients’ economic activities, quality of life, and other non-biomedical outcomes. These studies have consistently reported rapid and relatively large improvements in quality of life and/or work attendance during the first year on ART among adult patients in Africa, but few have followed patients for more than one year.
In 2005, the CGHD and its South African counterpart, the Health Economics and Epidemiology Research Office (HE2RO), began enrolling more than a thousand adult ART and pre-ART patients in a prospective cohort aimed at evaluating the social and economic outcomes of treatment in South Africa. Patients in the study have been interviewed during routine clinic visits through 2011. Findings indicate sustained improvements in symptom prevalence, ability to perform normal activities, and employment over five years after ART initiation. These improvements in economic and quality of life outcomes are likely to support long-term adherence and to mitigate some of the negative economic and social consequences of untreated HIV/AIDS in high-prevalence countries.
This project is one activity of the CGHD’s Economics and Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment (South Africa Associate Award).
|Principal Investigator||Sydney Rosen|
|Boston University Co-Investigators||Bruce Larson, Alana Brennan, Julia Rohr|
|Dates of Research||2004–2013|
|Donor/Funder||United States Agency for International Health (USAID)|