Objective: The objective of this study was to highlight the value of preventing unintended pregnancies among HIV-infected women as a strategy to prevent perinatal HIV transmission.
Goal: The goal of this study was to assess the cost-effectiveness of family planning programs to avert HIV-positive births with the current programmatic emphasis: prenatal care services that provide and promote nevirapine for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
Study design: Cost-effectiveness analyses were conducted from the health system perspective during 1 year with a hypothetical sub-Saharan African population. Expected program costs were combined with number of HIV-positive births averted for each strategy.
Results: At the same level of expenditure, the contraceptive strategy averts 28.6% more HIV-positive births than nevirapine for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
Conclusions: Increasing contraceptive use among nonusers of contraception who do not want to get pregnant is cost-effective and is an equally important strategy to prevent perinatal transmission as prenatal care programs that provide and promote nevirapine to HIV-infected mothers.