New commentary on the PLoS Speaking of Medicine Blog from Dr. Peter Hotez, president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, highlights exciting findings that “give us compelling reasons to recast schistosomiasis MDA as a back door AIDS prevention strategy.”
The new study, led by a team of researchers at Yale University, found that treating young girls for female genital schistosomiasis (FGS) is a highly cost-effective approach to reducing the burden of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. In fact, the drug praziquantel not only reduces the devastating burden of FGS on young women but also has the potential to save up to 100 million US dollars in AIDS healthcare costs over a 10-year period.
Dr. Hotez, who has written extensively on FGS, asserts “a critically important piece of information is that schistsomiasis MDA is ridiculously inexpensive because of generous praziquantel donations from Merck KGaA or (when there is insufficient drug being donated) it can be provided as an extremely low-cost generic (often averaging around 8 cents per tablet) from Shin Poong, MedPharm and other companies through UNICEF, WHO, and the World Bank.”
Please read Peter’s full commentary at this link, and the new study, “Potential Cost-Effectiveness of Schistosomiasis Treatment for Reducing HIV Transmission in Africa – The Case of Zimbabwean Women,” here.