Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Journal Article - AIDS (London, England)
Title Comparative cost-effectiveness of Option B+ for prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV in Malawi: mathematical modelling study
Volume 30
Issue 6
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Page numbers 953-962
URL https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5359470/

To estimate the cost-effectiveness of prevention of mother to child transmission (MTCT) of HIV with lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART) for pregnant and breastfeeding women (‘Option B+’) compared to ART during pregnancy or breastfeeding only unless clinically indicated (‘Option B’).


Mathematical modelling study of first and second pregnancy, informed by data from the Malawi Option B+ programme.


Individual-based simulation model. We simulated cohorts of 10,000 women and their infants during two subsequent pregnancies, including the breastfeeding period, with either Option B+ or B. We parameterised the model with data from the literature and by analysing programmatic data. We compared total costs of ante-natal and post-natal care, and lifetime costs and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) of the infected infants between Option B+ and Option B.


During the first pregnancy, 15% of the infants born to HIV-infected mothers acquired the infection. With Option B+, 39% of the women were on ART at the beginning of the second pregnancy, compared to 18% with Option B. For second pregnancies, the rates MTCT were 11.3% with Option B+ and 12.3% with Option B. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio comparing the two options ranged between about US$ 500 and US$ 1300 per DALY averted.


Option B+ prevents more vertical transmissions of HIV than Option B, mainly because more women are already on ART at the beginning of the next pregnancy. Option B+ is a cost-effective strategy for PMTCT if the total future costs and lost lifetime of the infected infants are taken into account.

Related studies