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Acyclovir prophylaxis for pregnant women with a known history of herpes simplex virus: A cost-effectiveness analysis

      Objective

      Previous literature has shown acyclovir to be cost-effective as prophylaxis for women with genital symptomatic herpes simplex virus infection recurrence during pregnancy. We extend this analysis by adding quality-adjusted life year measurements and considering women with a diagnosed history of herpes simplex virus infection but without recurrence in pregnancy.

      Study design

      A decision analytic model was designed that compared acyclovir prophylaxis versus no acyclovir for women with a history of diagnosed genital herpes simplex virus infection but without recurrence in pregnancy. Sensitivity analysis and Monte Carlo simulations were performed to test for robustness.

      Results

      We found that 22,286 women must be treated to prevent 1 neonatal death, 8985 women to prevent 1 affected child, and 177 women to prevent 1 cesarean delivery. As compared with no acyclovir, acyclovir prophylaxis at 36 weeks of gestation saves approximately $20 per person and increases total quality-adjusted life years by 0.01. In univariate sensitivity analysis, this result was robust to all reasonable probability and quality-adjusted life year estimates. Monte Carlo simulation demonstrated acyclovir to be cost-effective 100% of the time and cost saving >99% of the time.

      Conclusion

      Acyclovir prophylaxis versus no treatment for pregnant women with a diagnosed history of genital herpes simplex virus infection but without recurrence during pregnancy is cost-effective over a wide range of assumptions.

      Key words

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