The cost-effectiveness of elective Cesarean delivery for HIV-infected women with detectable HIV RNA during pregnancy

Joseph M. Mrus, Sue J. Goldie, Milton C. Weinstein, Joel Tsevat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine the net health consequences, costs, and cost-effectiveness of alternative delivery strategies for HIV-infected pregnant women with detectable HIV RNA in the USA. Design: Cost-effectiveness analysis using a probabilistic decision model. Methods: The model compared two strategies: elective Cesarean section and vaginal delivery. Data for HIV transmission rate, maternal death rate, health-related quality of life and costs were obtained from the literature, national databases, and a tertiary hospital's cost accounting system. Model outcomes included total lifetime costs, quality-adjusted life expectancy, maternal death rate, HIV transmission rate, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios. Results: Elective Cesarean section resulted in a vertical HIV transmission rate of 34.9 per 1000 births compared with 62.3 per 1000 births for vaginal delivery. Elective Cesarean section was more effective (38.7 quality adjusted life years per mother and child pair) and Jess costly ($10600 per delivery) than trial of labor (38.2 combined quality adjusted life years at a cost of $14500 per delivery). However, elective Cesarean section increased maternal mortality by 2.4 deaths per 100 000 deliveries. The results were consistent over a wide range of the variables, but were sensitive to the risk of HIV transmission with vaginal delivery and the relative risk of HIV transmission with elective Cesarean section. Conclusions: In pregnant HIV-infected women with detectable HIV RNA, elective Cesarean section would reduce total costs and increase overall quality-adjusted life expectancy for the mother-child pair, albeit at a slight loss of quality adjusted life expectancy to the mother. (C) 2000 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2543-2552
Number of pages10
Issue number16
StatePublished - Nov 27 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • AIDS
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • HIV
  • Pregnancy
  • Vertical transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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