Purpose: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is endemic in China. Almost 10% of HBV infected individuals are also infected with hepatitis D virus (HDV) which has a 5-10 times higher mortality rate than HBV mono-infection. The aim of this manuscript is to devise strategies that can not only control HBV infections but also HDV infections in China under the current health care budget in an optimal manner.
Methods: Using a mathematical model, an annual budget of $10billion was optimally allocated among five interventions namely, testing and HBV adult vaccination, treatment for mono-infected and dually-infected individuals, second line treatment for HBV mono-infections, and awareness programs.
Results: We determine that the optimal strategy is to test and treat both infections as early as possible while applying awareness programs at full intensity. Under this strategy, an additional 19.8million HBV, 1.9million HDV infections and 0.25million lives will be saved over the next 10years at a cost-savings of $79billion than performing no intervention. Introduction of second line treatment does not add a significant economic burden yet prevents 1.4million new HBV infections and 15,000 new HDV infections.
Conclusion: Test and treatment programs are highly efficient in reducing HBV and HDV prevalence in the population. Under the current health budget in China, not only test and treat programs but awareness programs and second line treatment can also be implemented that minimizes prevalence and mortality, and maximizes economic benefits.
Keywords: Epidemiology; Health economics; Public policy; Sexually transmitted infection.
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