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PubMed | University of Witwatersrand, Us Agency For International Development, FutuResearch Group, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV AIDS and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2016

In 2012, South Africa set a goal of circumcising 4.3 million men ages 15-49 by 2016. By the end of March 2014, 1.9 million men had received voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC). In an effort to accelerate progress, South Africa undertook a modeling exercise to determine whether circumcising specific client age groups or geographic locations would be particularly impactful or cost-effective. Results will inform South Africas efforts to develop a national strategy and operational plan for VMMC.The study team populated the Decision Makers Program Planning Tool, Version 2.0 (DMPPT 2.0) with HIV incidence projections from the Spectrum/AIDS Impact Module (AIM), as well as national and provincial population and HIV prevalence estimates. We derived baseline circumcision rates from the 2012 South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence and Behaviour Survey. The model showed that circumcising men ages 20-34 offers the most immediate impact on HIV incidence and requires the fewest circumcisions per HIV infection averted. The greatest impact over a 15-year period is achieved by circumcising men ages 15-24. When the model assumes a unit cost increase with client age, men ages 15-29 emerge as the most cost-effective group. When we assume a constant cost for all ages, the most cost-effective age range is 15-34 years. Geographically, the program is cost saving in all provinces; differences in the VMMC programs cost-effectiveness across provinces were obscured by uncertainty in HIV incidence projections.The VMMC programs impact and cost-effectiveness vary by age-targeting strategy. A strategy focusing on men ages 15-34 will maximize program benefits. However, because clients older than 25 access VMMC services at low rates, South Africa could consider promoting demand among men ages 25-34, without denying services to those in other age groups. Uncertainty in the provincial estimates makes them insufficient to support geographic targeting.


PubMed | Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ministry of Health, FutuResearch Group, United States Agency for International Development USAID and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2016

In 2007, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended scaling up voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) in priority countries with high HIV prevalence and low male circumcision (MC) prevalence. According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), an estimated 5.8 million males had undergone VMMC by the end of 2013. Implementation experience has raised questions about the need to refocus VMMC programs on specific subpopulations for the greatest epidemiological impact and programmatic effectiveness. As Malawi prepared its national operational plan for VMMC, it sought to examine the impacts of focusing on specific subpopulations by age and region.We used the Decision Makers Program Planning Toolkit, Version 2.0, to study the impact of scaling up VMMC to different target populations of Malawi. National MC prevalence by age group from the 2010 Demographic and Health Survey was scaled according to the MC prevalence for each district and then halved, to adjust for over-reporting of circumcision. In-country stakeholders advised a VMMC unit cost of $100, based on implementation experience. We derived a cost of $451 per patient-year for antiretroviral therapy from costs collected as part of a strategic planning exercise previously conducted in- country by UNAIDS.Over a fifteen-year period, circumcising males ages 10-29 would avert 75% of HIV infections, and circumcising males ages 10-34 would avert 88% of infections, compared to the current strategy of circumcising males ages 15-49. The Ministry of Healths South West and South East health zones had the lowest cost per HIV infection averted. Moreover, VMMC met WHOs definition of cost-effectiveness (that is, the cost per disability-adjusted life-year [DALY] saved was less than three times the per capita gross domestic product) in all health zones except Central East. Comparing urban versus rural areas in the country, we found that circumcising men in urban areas would be both cost-effective and cost-saving, with a VMMC cost per DALY saved of $120 USD and with 15 years of VMMC implementation resulting in lifetime HIV treatment costs savings of $331 million USD.Based on the age analyses and programmatic experience, Malawis VMMC operational plan focuses on males ages 10-34 in all districts in the South East and South West zones, as well as Lilongwe (an urban district in the Central zone). This plan covers 14 of the 28 districts in the country.


PubMed | Aurum Institute, USAID, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Ghana Health Service and 2 more.
Type: | Journal: BMC medicine | Year: 2016

Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death from infectious disease worldwide, predominantly affecting low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), where resources are limited. As such, countries need to be able to choose the most efficient interventions for their respective setting. Mathematical models can be valuable tools to inform rational policy decisions and improve resource allocation, but are often unavailable or inaccessible for LMICs, particularly in TB. We developed TIME Impact, a user-friendly TB model that enables local capacity building and strengthens country-specific policy discussions to inform support funding applications at the (sub-)national level (e.g. Ministry of Finance) or to international donors (e.g. the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria).TIME Impact is an epidemiological transmission model nested in TIME, a set of TB modelling tools available for free download within the widely-used Spectrum software. The TIME Impact model reflects key aspects of the natural history of TB, with additional structure for HIV/ART, drug resistance, treatment history and age. TIME Impact enables national TB programmes (NTPs) and other TB policymakers to better understand their own TB epidemic, plan their response, apply for funding and evaluate the implementation of the response.The explicit aim of TIME Impacts user-friendly interface is to enable training of local and international TB experts towards independent use. During application of TIME Impact, close involvement of the NTPs and other local partners also builds critical understanding of the modelling methods, assumptions and limitations inherent to modelling. This is essential to generate broad country-level ownership of the modelling data inputs and results. In turn, it stimulates discussions and a review of the current evidence and assumptions, strengthening the decision-making process in general.TIME Impact has been effectively applied in a variety of settings. In South Africa, it informed the first South African HIV and TB Investment Cases and successfully leveraged additional resources from the National Treasury at a time of austerity. In Ghana, a long-term TIME model-centred interaction with the NTP provided new insights into the local epidemiology and guided resource allocation decisions to improve impact.


PubMed | U.S. Department of Defense, Ministry of Health, USAID-U.S. Agency for International Development, FutuResearch Group and 3 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2016

Uganda aims to provide safe male circumcision (SMC) to 80% of men ages 15-49 by 2016. To date, only 2 million men have received SMC of the 4.2 million men required. In response to age and regional trends in SMC uptake, the country sought to re-examine its targets with respect to age and subnational region, to assess the programs progress, and to refine the implementation approach.The Decision Makers Program Planning Tool, Version 2.0 (DMPPT 2.0), was used in conjunction with incidence projections from the Spectrum/AIDS Impact Module (AIM) to conduct this analysis. Population, births, deaths, and HIV incidence and prevalence were used to populate the model. Baseline male circumcision prevalence was derived from the 2011 AIDS Indicator Survey. Uganda can achieve the most immediate impact on HIV incidence by circumcising men ages 20-34. This group will also require the fewest circumcisions for each HIV infection averted. Focusing on men ages 10-19 will offer the greatest impact over a 15-year period, while focusing on men ages 15-34 offers the most cost-effective strategy over the same period. A regional analysis showed little variation in cost-effectiveness of scaling up SMC across eight regions. Scale-up is cost-saving in all regions. There is geographic variability in program progress, highlighting two regions with low baseline rates of circumcision where additional efforts will be needed.Focusing SMC efforts on specific age groups and regions may help to accelerate Ugandas SMC program progress. Policy makers in Uganda have already used model outputs in planning efforts, proposing males ages 10-34 as a priority group for SMC in the 2014 application to the Global Funds new funding model. As scale-up continues, the country should also consider a greater effort to expand SMC in regions with low MC prevalence.


PubMed | Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Jhpiego, Ministry of Health and 4 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2016

Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) for HIV prevention has been a priority for Swaziland since 2009. Initially focusing on men ages 15-49, the Ministry of Health reduced the minimum age for VMMC from 15 to 10 years in 2012, given the existing demand among 10- to 15-year-olds. To understand the implications of focusing VMMC service delivery on specific age groups, the MOH undertook a modeling exercise to inform policy and implementation in 2013-2014.The impact and cost of circumcising specific age groups were assessed using the Decision Makers Program Planning Tool, Version 2.0 (DMPPT 2.0), a simple compartmental model. We used age-specific HIV incidence from the Swaziland HIV Incidence Measurement Survey (SHIMS). Population, mortality, births, and HIV prevalence were imported from a national Spectrum/Goals model recently updated in consultation with country stakeholders. Baseline male circumcision prevalence was derived from the most recent Swaziland Demographic and Health Survey. The lowest numbers of VMMCs per HIV infection averted are achieved when males ages 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, and 30-34 are circumcised, although the uncertainty bounds for the estimates overlap. Circumcising males ages 25-29 and 20-24 provides the most immediate reduction in HIV incidence. Circumcising males ages 15-19, 20-24, and 25-29 provides the greatest magnitude incidence reduction within 15 years. The lowest cost per HIV infection averted is achieved by circumcising males ages 15-34: $870 U.S. dollars (USD).The potential impact, cost, and cost-effectiveness of VMMC scale-up in Swaziland are not uniform. They vary by the age group of males circumcised. Based on the results of this modeling exercise, the Ministry of Healths Swaziland Male Circumcision Strategic and Operational Plan 2014-2018 adopted an implementation strategy that calls for circumcision to be scaled up to 50% coverage for neonates, 80% among males ages 10-29, and 55% among males ages 30-34.


PubMed | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cornell College, Jhpiego, United States Agency for International Development and 4 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2017

The epidemiological and programmatic implications of inclusivity of HIV-positive males in voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) programs are uncertain. We modeled these implications using Zambia as an illustrative example.We used the Age-Structured Mathematical (ASM) model to evaluate, over an intermediate horizon (2010-2025), the effectiveness (number of VMMCs needed to avert one HIV infection) of VMMC scale-up scenarios with varying proportions of HIV-positive males. The model was calibrated by fitting to HIV prevalence time trend data from 1990 to 2014. We assumed that inclusivity of HIV positive males may benefit VMMC programs by increasing VMMC uptake among higher risk males, or by circumcision reducing HIV male-to-female transmission risk. All analyses were generated assuming no further antiretroviral therapy (ART) scale-up. The number of VMMCs needed to avert one HIV infection was projected to increase from 12.2 VMMCs per HIV infection averted, in a program that circumcises only HIV-negative males, to 14.0, in a program that includes HIV-positive males. The proportion of HIV-positive males was based on their representation in the population (e.g. 12.6% of those circumcised in 2010 would be HIV-positive based on HIV prevalence among males of 12.6% in 2010). However, if a program that only reaches out to HIV-negative males is associated with 20% lower uptake among higher-risk males, the effectiveness would be 13.2 VMMCs per infection averted. If improved inclusivity of HIV-positive males is associated with 20% higher uptake among higher-risk males, the effectiveness would be 12.4. As the assumed VMMC efficacy against male-to-female HIV transmission was increased from 0% to 20% and 46%, the effectiveness of circumcising regardless of HIV status improved from 14.0 to 11.5 and 9.1, respectively. The reduction in the HIV incidence rate among females increased accordingly, from 24.7% to 34.8% and 50.4%, respectively.Improving inclusivity of males in VMMC programs regardless of HIV status increases VMMC effectiveness, if there is moderate increase in VMMC uptake among higher-risk males and/or if there is moderate efficacy for VMMC against male-to-female transmission. In these circumstances, VMMC programs can reduce the HIV incidence rate in males by nearly as much as expected by some ART programs, and additionally, females can benefit from the intervention nearly as much as males.


Brown W.,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation | Ahmed S.,Johns Hopkins University | Roche N.,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation | Sonneveldt E.,Avenir Health | Darmstadt G.L.,Stanford University
Seminars in Perinatology | Year: 2015

Several studies show that maternal and neonatal/infant mortality risks increase with younger and older maternal age (<18 and >34 years), high parity (birth order >3), and short birth intervals (<24 months). Family planning programs are widely viewed as having contributed to substantial maternal and neonatal mortality decline through contraceptive use-both by reducing unwanted births and by reducing the burden of these high-risk births. However, beyond averting births, the empirical evidence for the role of family planning in reducing high-risk births at population level is limited. We examined data from 205 Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), conducted between 1985 and 2013, to describe the trends in high-risk births and their association with the pace of progress in modern contraceptive prevalence rate (yearly increase in rate of MCPR) in 57 developing countries. Using Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition technique, we then examine the contributions of family planning program, economic development (GDP per capita), and educational improvement (secondary school completion rate) on the progress of MCPR in order to link the net contribution of family planning program to the reduction of high-risk births mediated through contraceptive use. Countries that had the fastest progress in improving MCPR experienced the greatest declines in high-risk births due to short birth intervals (<24 months), high parity births (birth order >3), and older maternal age (>35 years). Births among younger women <18 years, however, did not decline significantly during this period. The decomposition analysis suggests that 63% of the increase in MCPR was due to family planning program efforts, 21% due to economic development, and 17% due to social advancement through women's education. Improvement in MCPR, predominately due to family planning programs, is a major driver of the decline in the burden of high-risk births due to high parity, shorter birth intervals, and older maternal age in developing countries. The lack of progress in the decline of births in younger women <18 years of age underscores the need for more attention to ensure that quality contraceptive methods are available to adolescent women in order to delay first births. This study substantiates the significance of family planning programming as a major health intervention for preventing high-risk births and associated maternal and child mortality, but it highlights the need for concerted efforts to strengthen service provision for adolescents. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.


PubMed | Population Services International, University of Dar es Salaam, Avenir Health, Ministry of Health and Child Care and United States Agency for International Development
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2016

Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) has been shown to be an effective prevention strategy against HIV infection in males [1-3]. Since 2007, the Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has supported VMMC programs in 14 priority countries in Africa. Today several of these countries are preparing to transition their VMMC programs from a scale-up and expansion phase to a maintenance phase. As they do so, they must consider the best approaches to sustain high levels of male circumcision in the population. The two alternatives under consideration are circumcising adolescents 10-14 years old over the long term or integrating early infant male circumcision (EIMC) into maternal and child health programs. The paper presents an analysis, using the Decision Makers Program Planning Tool, Version 2.0 (DMPPT 2.0), of the estimated cost and impact of introducing EIMC into existing VMMC programs in several countries in eastern and southern Africa. Limited cost data exist for the implementation of EIMC, but preliminary studies, such as the one detailed in Mangenah, et al. [4-5], suggest that the cost of EIMC may be less than that of adolescent and adult male circumcision. If this is the case, then adding EIMC to the VMMC program will increase the number of circumcisions that need to be performed but will not increase the total cost of the program over the long term. In addition, we found that a delayed or slow start-up of EIMC would not substantially reduce the impact of adding it to the program or increase cumulative long-term costs, which should make introduction of EIMC more feasible and attractive to countries contemplating such a program innovation.


Hounton S.,United Nations Population Fund | Winfrey W.,Avenir Health | Barros A.J.D.,Federal University of Pelotas | Askew I.,Population Council
Global Health Action | Year: 2015

Background: The first 12 months following childbirth are a period when a subsequent pregnancy holds the greatest risk for mother and baby, but also when there are numerous contacts with the healthcare system for postnatal care for mother and baby (immunisation, nutrition, etc.). The benefits and importance of postpartum family planning are well documented. They include a reduction in risk of miscarriage, as well as mitigation of (or protection against) low birth weight, neonatal and maternal death, preterm birth, and anaemia. Objectives: The objectives of this paper are to assess patterns and trends in the use of postpartum family planning at the country level, to determine whether postpartum family planning is associated with birth interval and parity, and to identify the health services most closely associated with postpartum family planning after adjusting for socio-economic characteristics. Design: Data were used from Demographic and Health Surveys that contain a reproductive calendar, carried out within the last 10 years, from Ethiopia, Malawi, and Nigeria. All women for whom the calendar was completed andwho gave birth between 57 and 60 months prior to data collection were included in the analysis. For each of the births, we merged the reproductive calendar with the birth record into a survey for each country reflecting the previous 60 months. The definition of the postpartum period in this paper is based on a period of 3 months postpartum. We used this definition to assess early adoption of postpartum family planning. We assessed variations in postpartum family planning according to demographic and socio-economic variables, as well as its association with various contact opportunities with the health system [antenatal care (ANC), childbirth in facilities, immunisation, etc.]. We did simple descriptive analysis with tabular, graphic, and 'equiplot' displays and a logistic regression controlling for important background characteristics. Results: Overall, variation in postpartum use of modern contraception was not affected over the years by age or marital status. One contrast to this is in Ethiopia, where the data show a significant increase in uptake of postpartum contraception among adolescents from 2005 to 2011. There are systematic and pervasive equity issues in the use of modern postpartum family planning by education level, place of residence, and wealth quintile, especially in Ethiopia where the gaps are very large. Disaggregation of data also point to significant sub-national variations. After adjusting for socio-economic variables, the most consistent health sector services associated with modern postpartum contraception are institutional childbirth and child immunisation. ANC is less likely to be associated with the use of modern postpartum family planning. Conclusion: Postpartum use of modern family planning has remained very low over the years, including for childbearing adolescents. Our results indicate that improving postpartum family planning requires policies and strategies to address the inequalities caused by socio-economic factors and the integration of family planning with maternal and newborn health services, particularly with childbirth in facilities and child immunisation. Scaling up systematic screening, training of providers, and generation of demand are some possible ways forward. © 2015 Sennen Hounton et al.


Yan I.,City University of Hong Kong | Bendavid E.,Stanford University | Korenromp E.L.,Erasmus Medical Center | Korenromp E.L.,Avenir Health
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Introduction Antiretroviral therapy (ART) reduces mortality in patients with active tuberculosis (TB), but the population-level relationship between ART coverage and TB mortality is untested. We estimated the reduction in population-level TB mortality that can be attributed to increasing ART coverage across 41 high HIV-TB burden countries. Methods We compiled TB mortality trends between 1996 and 2011 from two sources: (1) national program-reported TB death notifications, adjusted for annual TB case detection rates, and (2) WHO TB mortality estimates. National coverage with ART, as proportion of HIV-infected people in need, was obtained from UNAIDS. We applied panel linear regressions controlling for HIV prevalence (5-year lagged), coverage of TB interventions (estimated by WHO and UNAIDS), gross domestic product per capita, health spending from domestic sources, urbanization, and country fixed effects. Results Models suggest that that increasing ART coverage was followed by reduced TB mortality, across multiple specifications. For death notifications at 2 to 5 years following a given ART scale-up, a 1% increase in ART coverage predicted 0.95% faster mortality rate decline (p = 0.002); resulting in 27% fewer TB deaths in 2011 alone than would have occurred without ART. Based on WHO death estimates, a 1% increase in ART predicted a 1.0% reduced TB death rate (p<0.001), and 31% fewer deaths in 2011. TB mortality was higher at higher HIV prevalence (p<0.001), but not related to coverage of isoniazid preventive therapy, cotrimoxazole preventive therapy, or other covariates. Conclusion This econometric analysis supports a substantial impact of ART on population-level TB mortality realized already within the first decade of ART scale-up, that is apparent despite variable-quality mortality data. © 2016 Yan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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