Objective: Our study uses sex-specific and age-specific HIV prevalence data from an ongoing population-based demographic and HIV survey to infer HIV incidence and survival in rural KwaZulu-Natal between 2003 and 2011, a period when antiretroviral treatment (ART) was rolled out on a large scale.
Design: Catalytic mathematical model for estimating HIV incidence and differential survival in HIV-infected persons on multiple rounds of HIV seroprevalence.
Methods: We evaluate trends of HIV incidence and survival by estimating parameters separately for women and men aged 15-49 years during three calendar periods (2003-2005, 2006-2008, 2009-2011) reflecting increasing ART coverage. We compare model-based estimates of HIV incidence with observed cohort-based estimates from the longitudinal HIV surveillance.
Results: Median survival after HIV infection increased significantly between 2003-2005 and 2009-2011 from 10.0 [95% confidence interval (CI) 8.8-11.2] to 14.2 (95% CI 12.6-15.8) years in women (P < 0.001) and from 10.0 (95% CI 9.2-10.8) to 14.0 (95% CI 10.6-17.4) years in men (P = 0.02). Our model suggests no statistically significant reduction of HIV incidence in the age-group 15-49 years in 2009-2011 compared with 2003-2005. Age-specific and sex-specific model-based HIV incidence estimates were in good agreement with observed cohort-based estimates from the ongoing HIV surveillance.
Conclusion: Our catalytic modelling approach using cross-sectional age-specific HIV prevalence data could be useful to monitor trends of HIV incidence and survival in other African settings with a high ART coverage.
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