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AIDS Research and Treatment
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 891593, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/891593
Research Article

Forecasting the Population-Level Impact of Reductions in HIV Antiretroviral Therapy in Papua New Guinea

1National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Faculty of Medicine, The University of New South Wales, Ground floor, CFI Building, Corner Boundary & West Streets, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010, Australia
2National AIDS Council Secretariat, Waigani Drive, Boroko, NCD, Papua New Guinea

Received 30 June 2010; Accepted 30 October 2010

Academic Editor: Ann Duerr

Copyright © 2011 Richard T. Gray et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Papua New Guinea (PNG) recently did not secure external funding for the continuation of its antiretroviral treatment (ART) programs meaning that supplies of HIV drugs for the estimated 38,000 people living with HIV in PNG could be completely depleted during 2010. Using a mathematical model of HIV transmission calibrated to available HIV epidemiology data from PNG, we evaluated the expected population-level impact of reductions in ART availability. If the number of people on ART falls to 10% of its current level, then there could be an approximately doubling in annual incidence and an additional 12,848 AIDS-related deaths (100.7% increase) over the next 5 years; if ART provision is halved, then annual incidence would increase by ~68%, and there would be an additional ~10,936 AIDS-related deaths (85.7% increase). These results highlight that maintenance of ART and associated services through external funding is essential for the health and well-being of HIV-positive people in PNG.