Cost-Effectiveness of HIV Prevention Programs to Be Compared

October 1, 1996

The cost-effectiveness of needle-exchange and other HIV prevention programs will be studied at Stanford and several other research centers, funded by a 5-year grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The cost-effectiveness of needle-exchange and other HIV preventionprograms will be studied at Stanford and several other researchcenters, funded by a 5-year grant from the National Instituteon Drug Abuse.

Margaret Brandeau and Douglas Owens, the Stanford researchersinvolved, previously modeled aspects of the epidemic's spreadto address policy issues related to HIV prevention programs forthe state of California. Brandeau is an associate professor inthe Department of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management,while Owens is a research associate at the Palo Alto VeteransAffairs Health Care System and an assistant professor in the Departmentof Medicine at Stanford.

Previously, the two found that offering HIV screening tests toall women of childbearing age would lower overall medical costs.To reach this conclusion, they began by refining a turn-of-thecentury mathematical model of how malaria spreads through a population,refining it to capture characteristics of HIV disease, its treatment,and the behaviors that lead to its spread. In another study, theyfound that the risk to doctors and nurses from treating HIV-infectedpatients was comparable in magnitude to the risk they face fromtreating people with hepatitis B infection.

"The bottom line" of the new research project, Brandeausaid, "is to figure out how society can gain the most fromits HIV prevention dollars."

Other principal researchers in the project are professors EdwardKaplan and David Paltiel of Yale and James Kahn of the Universityof California-San Francisco. They will work cooperatively underthe direction of the Societal Institute of the Mathematical Sciencesin New Haven, Conn. The grant totals $3.4 million; Stanford'saward will be about $880,000.

More information about the prevention program can be found onthe World Wide Web at http://soe.stanford.edu/ieem/faculty/brandeua/abstract.html.