Introduction: It is increasingly important to prioritize the most cost-effective HIV interventions. We sought to summarize the evidence on which types of interventions provide the best value for money in regions with concentrated HIV epidemics.
Methods: We conducted a systematic review of peer-reviewed and grey literature reporting measurements of cost-effectiveness or cost-benefit for HIV/AIDS interventions in Asia and Eastern Europe.We also collated HIV/AIDS spending assessment data from case-study countries in the region.
Results: We identified 91 studies for inclusion, 47 of which were from peer-reviewed journals. Generally, in concentrated settings, prevention of mother-to-child transmission programmes and prevention programmes targeting people who inject drugs and sex workers had lower incremental cost-effectiveness ratios than programmes aimed at the general population. The few studies evaluating programmes targeting men who have sex with men indicate moderate cost-effectiveness. Collation of prevention programme spending data from 12 countries in the region (none of which had generalized epidemics) indicated that resources for the general population/non-targeted was greater than 30% for eight countries and greater than 50% for five countries.
Conclusions: There is a misalignment between national spending on HIV/AIDS responses and the most affected populations across the region. In concentrated epidemics, scarce funding should be directed more towards most-at-risk populations. Reaching consensus on general principles of cost-effectiveness of programmes by epidemic settings is difficult due to inconsistent evaluation approaches. Adopting a standard costing, impact evaluation, benefits calculation, analysis and reporting framework would enable cross comparisons and improve HIV resource prioritization and allocation.
- Concentrated epidemics
- Cost-benefit analyses
- Eastern Europe
- Programme evaluation
- Systematic review