The Potential Epidemiological Impact of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) on the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Epidemic and the Cost-effectiveness of Linked, Opt-out HIV Testing: A Modeling Study in 6 US Cities

Localized HIV Modeling Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Widespread viral and serological testing for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) may present a unique opportunity to also test for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. We estimated the potential impact of adding linked, opt-out HIV testing alongside SARS-CoV-2 testing on the HIV incidence and the cost-effectiveness of this strategy in 6 US cities. Methods: Using a previously calibrated dynamic HIV transmission model, we constructed 3 sets of scenarios for each city: (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 behaviors 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 the cumulative number of HIV infections between 2020-2025 and the incremental cost-effectiveness ratios of linked HIV testing over 20 years. Results: In the absence of linked, opt-out HIV testing, we estimated a total of a 16.5% decrease in HIV infections between 2020-2025 in the best-case scenario (50% reduction in risk behaviors and no service disruptions), and a 9.0% increase in the worst-case scenario (no behavioral change and 50% reduction in service access). We estimated that HIV testing (offered at 10%-90% levels) could avert a total of 576-7225 (1.6%-17.2%) new infections. The intervention would require an initial investment of $20.6M-$220.7M across cities; however, the intervention would ultimately result in savings in health-care costs in each city. Conclusions: A campaign in which HIV testing is linked with SARS-CoV-2 testing could substantially reduce the HIV incidence and reduce direct and indirect health care costs attributable to HIV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E828-E834
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Volume72
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • HIV
  • cost-effectiveness
  • dynamic HIV transmission model
  • linked opt-out HIV testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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