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Optimizing the Response of HIV/​AIDS Prevention in Africa (ORPHEA) + Recent articles

By Amy Scheffler | 13 Feb, 2013

Hi everyone,

A former professor of mine, Dr. Richard Wamai, is doing some work on HIV/AIDS with colleagues at Brown University and the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico (INSP) that may be of interest to this community. The text below is adapted from a recent email exchange we shared. Dr. Wamai is a member of the HIV Prevention community so please feel free to connect with him in this community with any questions/thoughts.
Last year Dr. Wamai and colleagues received an award from the Gates Foundation to study HIV efficiency in a project called “Optimizing the Response of HIV/​AIDS Prevention in Africa (ORPHEA)”. The project is being carried out in five countries in Africa and Dr. Wamai is co-leading the team for Kenya. My alma mater, and Dr. Wamai's university, Northeastern University, recently put out a story here: http://www.northeastern.edu/news/2013/01/richard-wamai/.

A quote from the NEU article: "The project...is focused on determining the actual costs of providing a unit of service for HIV/​AIDS inter­ven­tions, and how that process can become even more cost effective. In par­tic­ular, the project will mea­sure the tech­nical effi­ciency of four HIV/​AIDS pre­ven­tion inter­ven­tions: mother-​​to-​​child trans­mis­sion, male cir­cum­ci­sion, HIV testing and coun­seling, and male and female sex workers’ access to treat­ment and services."
On a related note, one of Dr. Wamai's colleagues - an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Services, Policy & Practice at Brown, Omar Galarraga - just published two papers on economic incentives to behavior change (below), and provided a link to a Brown University press on a study about economic incentives for reducing HIV risk.
Willingness-to-accept reductions in HIV risks: conditional economic incentives in Mexico.
Galárraga O, Sosa-Rubí SG, Infante C, Gertler PJ, Bertozzi SM.
Eur J Health Econ. 2013 Feb 2. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 23377757 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Related citations
Conditional Economic Incentives to Improve HIV Treatment Adherence: Literature Review and Theoretical Considerations.
Galárraga O, Genberg BL, Martin RA, Barton Laws M, Wilson IB.
AIDS Behav. 2013 Jan 31. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 23370833 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Best wishes,

Attached resource:



K. Rivet Amico, PhD Moderator Emeritus Replied at 4:08 PM, 17 Feb 2013

Thank you Amy. Really interesting. Is the plan cash transfer incentives for the Africa work, or to evaluate the cost of implementing one of the interventions noted? Moving interventions and pieces of prevention packages into actual cost savings numbers (or cost only even) is critically important in making our research meaningful to and more influential in policy planning. Again- thank you for sharing.

Amy Scheffler Replied at 5:25 PM, 18 Feb 2013

Hi Rivet,

I've reached out to Omar Galárraga, PhD, who will have more information about the study and its findings. I hope he will be able to reply to you directly, here soon.


Omar Galarraga Replied at 10:03 PM, 19 Feb 2013

Dear Rivet,
Yes, the plan is to present cost-effectiveness or possibly cost-savings data once we have preliminary evidence of effectiveness for our current randomized controlled pilot.
I agree that these evidence will be important for policy development.
Thank you for your comment.

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