Methods to assess population effectiveness of therapies in human immunodeficiency virus incident and prevalent cohorts

Patrick M. Tarwater*, John Mellors, Mary E. Gore, Joseph B. Margolick, John Phair, Roger Detels, Alvaro Muñoz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Two methods are presented for measuring population effectiveness (i.e., reduction of disease in a population in which only some receive treatment) of antiretroviral therapy among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected men at risk for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and followed between January 1, 1986, and June 30, 1999, in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study. Method I, requiring use of a seroincident cohort, estimates relative hazards of AIDS for persons at equal duration of infection. Method II, allowing use of a seroprevalent cohort, estimates relative hazards since the beginning of therapy eras for persons starting at equal levels of prognostic markers of disease stage (CD4 cell count and HIV type 1 RNA). The follow-up interval was divided into four calendar periods to characterize different eras of antiretroviral therapy. For method I, the relative hazards were 1.52 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.93, 2.49), 0.91 (95% CI: 0.66, 1.26), and 0.30 (95% CI: 0.18, 0.51) for the eras of no therapy, dual nucleoside therapy, and potent combination antiretroviral therapy, respectively (monotherapy was the reference era). For method II, the corresponding relative hazards were 1.52 (95% CI: 1.10, 2.09), 1.03 (95% CI: 0.77, 1.38), and 0.31 (95% CI: 0.21, 0.45). These results extend the measurement of population effectiveness from incident to prevalent cohorts and demonstrate the ability of cohort studies to complement information provided by clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)675-681
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2001


  • Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
  • Cohort studies
  • Epidemiologic methods
  • HIV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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