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Study finds low ART treatment costs and good retention at clinics in Kenya

April 8, 2013
The annual cost of providing antiretroviral therapy (ART) to HIV-infected patients in Kenya averaged $224, or less than $20 per month. A paper in the Journal of the International AIDS Society provides the first published estimate of the cost of ART treatm

Results can help inform resource allocation and budget decisions at the program level

The annual cost of providing antiretroviral therapy (ART) to HIV-infected patients in Kenya averaged $224, or less than $20 per month. A paper in the Journal of the International AIDS Society provides the first published estimate of the cost of ART treatment programs in Kenya—which is lower than what has been reported in other studies from other low-income African countries. 

Researchers analyzed medical records from the first 120 adults started on ART as of January 2007 at three rural clinics in Kenya’s Rift Valley province—a district hospital, a private hospital and a faith-based hospital. Researchers looked at the quantity of ARV medications, non-ARV drugs, laboratory tests, salaries of personnel providing patient care and clinic visits. They also also factored in fixed costs such as supplies, equipment, insurance and buildings.

Findings indicate the cost per patient started on ART was $206 at the district hospital, $252 at the private hospital and $213 at the mission hospital. The cost of ARVs accounted for roughly $120 per year or half of the total cost per patient who was still receiving care after 12 months, which was 80% of patients who had started on ART in 2007.

More than 400,000 people are on ART in Kenya, a country that is one of the largest recipients of funding from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). 

The Center of Global Health and Development at Boston University led this research, which included scientists from the Kenya Medical Research Institute/Walter Reed Project, MHRP’s site in Kenya.