Researchers at the Brown University School of Public Health have just published the results of their modelling study modelling prevalence, morbidity, mortality and health system burden — that is how many people should be in treatment in order to meet national goals of disease coverage – of HIV and hypertension. The study was led by Ms. Brianna Osetinsky, PhD candidate in the Department of Health Services, Policy, and Practice at Brown University and was published in Health Affairs.
An existing agent based model, known as “STDISM” was used for this study. This model creates a population of “agents” who then interact with each other – creating a network of sexual contacts. Modelling studies like these can help researchers assess the current and future landscape of disease. In the model the authors selected, the agents can either have human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hypertension or both. It models the spread as well as the control of HIV, however; in this case, the model has been adapted to include hypertension. Two specific regions were selected for the model; KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa and Western Kenya. Modeling was done for the time period between 2018-2028.
The authors found that for both regions, the prevalence of hypertension is expected to increase but the prevalence of HIV is expected to decrease. They found that the number of people in treatment needed to reach 81 percent coverage in both countries decreases. They found that the number of people who would benefit from having integrated care that targets both conditions remains stable in KwaZulu-Natal and decreases slightly in Western Kenya. Still, the authors suggest that the spill over affects of having integrated care would benefit even those with just one condition.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on July 19