Sub-district costs and efficiency of a combination HIV/AIDS prevention-intervention in the Northwest Province of South Africa

Published: 10 October 2022
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Background: We reviewed a combination prevention program tostrengthen HIV prevention programming, community support mechanisms, community-based HIV testing, referral systems, and HIV prevention integration at the primary care level. The intervention included situational analysis to inform programming, community engagement and mobilization, and community-based biomedical and behavioral prevention. In support of PEPFAR’s country-ownership paradigm, we costed the combination HIV prevention program to determine data needed for local ownership. This research used costing and health system perspectives.
Results: Cost per person reached with individual or small group prevention interventions ranged from $63.93 to $4,344.88. (cost per health facility strengthened). Personnel costs drove the intervention. This was true regardless of year or activity (i.e. wellness days or events, primary health care strengthening, community engagement, and wellness clubs).
Conclusions: Labor-intensive rather than capital-intensive interventions for low-income settings, like this one, are important for treating and preventing HIV/AIDS and other health conditions sustainably. Over time, costs shifted from international cost centers to in-country headquarters offices, as required for sustainable PEPFAR initiatives. Such costing center evolution reflected changes in the intervention’s composition, including (1) the redesign and re-deployment of service delivery sites according to local needs, uptake, and implementation success and (2) the flexible and adaptable restructuring of intervention components in response to community needs.

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