The Cost of Managing HIV Infection in Highly Treatment-Experienced, HIV-Infected Adults in France
Background: Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has greatly enhanced HIV management, lowering the risk of clinical disease progression and death by substantially improving HIV-induced immune deficiency. Lower CD4 cell counts have consistently been associated with higher direct costs of HIV patient care. The aim of this study was to analyze HIV costs of care in France at different levels of HIV-induced immune deficiency (as measured by the CD4 cell count) using recent data from treatment-experienced patients. Methods: This analysis used data from the French Hospital Database in HIV, containing data on approximately 50% of the French HIV population. Patients were included in the analysis if they had visited a participating centre from 2003 to 2005, had CD4 cell counts determined at least twice during the study period, and had been prescribed at least two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, one non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor and two protease inhibitors since their first consultation. Resources consumed were counted and aggregated according to the CD4 cell count level. Standard costs were applied. Results: Periods with the lowest CD4 cell counts were associated with increased prescription rates of antiviral agents (other than anti-HIV agents), antiparasitic drugs and antimycobacterial agents. Antiretroviral treatments accounted for 80% of all medications prescribed during the study period. Hospitalization rates decreased with increasing CD4 cell counts, with 0.72 hospitalizations per patient-year for those with CD4 cell counts of 50 cells/mm or less compared with 0.05 per patient-year for patients with CD4 cell counts greater than 500 cells/mm. There was a clear trend towards lower mean healthcare costs per patient-year with decreasing immune deficiency; from &U20AC;34 286 to &U20AC;12 361. Conclusions: Our study showed an association between the degree of HIV-induced immune deficiency (measured by CD4 cell count) and the costs of managing HIV infection among highly pre-treated, HIV-infected individuals in France in the HAART era.
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