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RESEARCH ARTICLE

Modelling the epidemiological impact of scaling up HIV testing and antiretroviral treatment in China

Lei Zhang A , Richard T. Gray A and David P. Wilson A B

A The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales, Corner West and Boundary Streets, Darlinghurst, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia.

B Corresponding author. Email: dwilson@nchecr.unsw.edu.au

Sexual Health 9(3) 261-271 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/SH11104
Submitted: 26 July 2011  Accepted: 2 August 2011   Published: 19 December 2011

Abstract

Background: The HIV epidemic in China has been increasing. In response, a 5-year action plan in China has prioritised the scale-up of HIV testing and treatment. Methods: We use a mathematical model to reproduce HIV epidemic trends in China and to forecast epidemic trends according to current conditions or increases in the rate of HIV testing or roll-out of antiretroviral therapy. Results: We show that the epidemic in China could be expected to experience a 2.5-fold expansion over the next 5 years such that ~1.8 million people will be infected with HIV in China by 2015. However, increasing testing and treatment rates can have substantial epidemiological benefits. For example, a four-fold increase in testing rates may avert more than 42 000 HIV infections and 11 000 deaths over the next 5years. A 10-fold increase in the treatment rate could decrease the number of HIV-related deaths by 58% and the number of new infections by one-quarter by 2015. Conclusions: Increasing HIV testing and treatment are important public health strategies for prevention.

Additional keywords: epidemiology, forecasting, mathematical modelling, prevalence.


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