Mathematical Biosciences, Vol. 34, page(s): 35-42
Chronic viral diseases such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) afflict millions of people worldwide. A key public health challenge in managing such diseases is identifying infected, asymptomatic individuals so that they can receive antiviral treatment. Such treatment can benefit both the treated individual (by improving quality and length of life) and the population as a whole (through reduced transmission). We develop a compartmental model of a chronic, treatable infectious disease and use it to evaluate the cost and effectiveness of different levels of screening and contact tracing.
We show that:
We also show how to determine the costeffective equilibrium level of disease prevalence (among untreated individuals), and we develop an approximation of the path of the optimal prevalence over time. Using this, one can obtain a close approximation of the optimal solution without having to solve an optimal control problem. We apply our methods to an example of hepatitis B virus.