Comparative costs of inpatient care for HIV-infected and uninfected children and adults in Soweto, South Africa

Leena S. Thomas, Arthur Manning, Charles B. Holmes, Shan Naidoo, Frans Van Der Linde, Glenda E. Gray, Neil A. Martinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: HIV/AIDS creates a massive burden of care for health systems. A better understanding of the impact of HIV infection on health care utilization and costs may enable better use of limited resources. METHODS: We compared public sector inpatient costs of HIV-infected versus uninfected adults and children at a large hospital in Soweto, South Africa. Daily hotel costs estimated from hospital financial data and total patient visits were combined with utilization, abstracted from patients' charts, and costed using government price lists to estimate total inpatient costs. RESULTS: A total of 1185 eligible records were included over a 6-week period in 2005. Eight hundred twelve were from HIV-infected patients, and of these, 77 were on antiretroviral (ARV) therapy. The mean length of stay (LOS) and mean drug and intravenous fluid utilization of HIV-infected adults not on ARVs was greater than those of uninfected adults, resulting in a $200 higher total average admission cost. Patients on ARVs had longer LOS and incurred a total average admission cost of $750 more than HIV-infected adults not on ARVs. CONCLUSIONS: Inpatient costs were greater for this selected group of HIV-infected adults, and even higher for the small proportion of individuals receiving ARVs. Budget allocations should incorporate case mix by HIV and ARV status as a key determinant of hospital expenditure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)410-416
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Antiretrovirals
  • HIV
  • Hospitalization
  • LOS
  • Opportunistic infections
  • Pediatric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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