A Cost Analysis of Human Papillomavirus: Individual Education vs. Mass-Media Campaign
Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a common sexually transmitted virus, is a collection of more than 100 viruses, some of which (called "high-risk" oncogenic or carcinogenic HPV) are associated with certain types of cancer. HPV 16 and 18 cause approximately 70% of all cervical cancer. An estimated 11,150 new cases of cervical cancer will develop in the U.S. in 2007. In 2006, the FDA approved the first vaccine to prevent cervical cancer, designated for females aged 9-26, called Gardasil. Studies have indicated Gardasil has a 95-100% success against HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18. Many studies have shown that there exists a lack of HPV awareness, as well as knowledge of causes, effects and preventive measures. In this study we compare two strategies for controlling the spread of carcinogenic HPV in the population, while minimizing cost. The research is conducted via a cost analysis of a mandatory vaccination policy vs. a mass-media awareness campaign, each individually modeled with a system of differential equations. Mandatory (but not universal) vaccination includes individual-based education at the time of vaccination only, while the mass-media campaign is assumed to be ongoing. In both cases the education influences females to get vaccinated and/or reduce their sexual activity, but is of limited duration. We use qualitative analysis to derive the respective control reproductive numbers, and numerical analysis to obtain the total costs of vaccination, education, high sexual activity, and expected cancer treatment costs for infected females in both models. Our results support the conclusions of a 2005 study analyzing the epidemiology of HPV with a potential vaccination that even in the presence of a vaccine, the infective population will remain large due to a high transmission rate. Our results also support the conclusion that a high transmission rate and a high reproductive rate require a high efficacy and high vaccine coverage to eliminate the epidemic.
Alison Green, Canisius College
Yeni Nieves, Purdue University
Cindy Enrigue, University of California
Dori Luli, Arizona State University
Britnee Crawford, University of Texas at Arlington
Christopher Kribs-Zaleta, University of Texas at Arlington