Cost-effectiveness of a package of interventions for expedited antiretroviral therapy initiation during pregnancy in Cape Town, South Africa

Rose Zulliger, Samantha Black, David R. Holtgrave, Andrea L. Ciaranello, Linda Gail Bekker, Landon Myer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Initiating antiretroviral therapy (ART) early in pregnancy is an important component of effective interventions to prevent the mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT). The rapid initiation of ART in pregnancy (RAP) program was a package of interventions to expedite ART initiation in pregnant women in Cape Town, South Africa. Retrospective cost-effectiveness, sensitivity and threshold analyses were conducted of the RAP program to determine the cost-utility thresholds for rapid initiation of ART in pregnancy. Costs were drawn from a detailed micro-costing of the program. The overall programmatic cost was US880 per woman and the base case cost-effectiveness ratio was US1,160 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) saved. In threshold analyses, the RAP program remained cost-effective if mother-to-child transmission was reduced by ≥0.33 %; if ≥1.76 QALY were saved with each averted perinatal infection; or if RAP-related costs were under US4,020 per woman. The package of rapid initiation services was very cost-effective, as compared to standard services in this setting. Threshold analyses demonstrated that the intervention required minimal reductions in perinatal infections in order to be cost-effective. Interventions for the rapid initiation of ART in pregnancy hold considerable potential as a cost-effective use of limited resources for PMTCT in sub-Saharan Africa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)697-705
Number of pages9
JournalAIDS and behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Antiretroviral therapy (ART)
  • Cost-effectiveness analysis
  • Costs and cost analysis
  • Prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT)
  • South Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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