Date of Award

Summer 8-11-2015

Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Christine Stauber

Second Advisor

Dr. Brian Maskery

Third Advisor

Dr. Michelle Weinberg

Abstract

Since 2010, HIV screening is no longer required as part of the overseas medical examination for U.S.-bound refugees. Estimated HIV prevalence for U.S-bound refugees range from 0% to 9%, with an average of 2.2%. Based on this data, many refugees may be at high risk for HIV and HIV-associated infections and sequelae when compared to the 0.4% to 0.9% prevalence range in the U.S. population.

This capstone is an economic analysis of costs associated with an overseas voluntary HIV screening and treatment program for refugees undergoing resettlement to the U.S. This study seeks to answer the following question:

  • Will HIV screening for refugees overseas be less expensive for the U.S. government than domestic screening and will early screening have positive public health outcomes?

The results of this study suggest that HIV screening for refugees overseas will be less expensive for the U.S. government than domestic screening and early screening will have a positive effect on public health outcomes for refugees and receiving communities. Increasing the rates of overseas screening should increase the number of refugees screened and linked to care at least 3 months earlier.

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