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EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-324909

ABSTRACT

Background: Widespread viral and serological testing for SARS-CoV-2 may present a unique opportunity to also test for HIV infection. We estimated the potential impact of adding linked, opt-out HIV testing alongside SARS-CoV-2 testing on HIV incidence and the cost-effectiveness of this strategy in six US cities.Methods: We calibrated a dynamic compartmental HIV transmission model to match the epidemiological characteristics of six US cities (Atlanta, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Seattle). For each city, we constructed three sets of scenarios: (1) sustained current levels of HIV-related treatment and prevention services (status quo);(2) temporary disruptions in health services and changes in sexual and injection risk behaviours at discrete levels between 0%-50%;and (3) linked HIV and SARS-CoV-2 testing offered to 10%-90% of the adult population in addition to scenario (2). We estimated cumulative HIV infections between 2020-2025, as well as incremental costs, quality-adjusted life years, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios of linked HIV testing over 20 years.Findings: In the absence of linked, opt-out HIV testing, we estimated a best-case scenario (50% reduction in risk behaviours and no service disruptions) of 6,733 fewer HIV infections between 2020-2025 (16.5% decrease), and a worst-case scenario (no behavioural change and 50% reduction in service access) of 3,669 additional HIV infections (9.0% increase) across cities. If HIV testing could be offered to 10%-90% of the adult population, we estimated that a total of 576-7,225 (1.6%-17.2%) new infections could be averted. The intervention would require an initial investment of $20M-$218M across cities;however, the intervention would ultimately result in savings in health care costs in each city.Interpretation: Although COVID-19-related disruptions in HIV-related services may increase or decrease HIV incidence, a campaign in which HIV testing is linked with SARS-CoV-2 testing could substantially reduce HIV incidence and reduce direct and indirect health care costs attributable to HIV.Funding Statement: US NIH-NIDA Grant No. R01-DA041747Declaration of Interests: XZ, EK, SC, MP, WSA, CNB, CDR, DJF, BDLM, SHM, JM, LRM, BRS, SAS and BN declare no competing interests.

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