INTRODUCTION: Great strides in responding to the HIV epidemic have led to improved access to and uptake of HIV services in Guyana, a lower-middle-income country with a generalized HIV epidemic. Despite efforts to scale up HIV treatment and adopt the test and start strategy, little is known about costs of HIV services across the care cascade. METHODS: We collected cost data from the national laboratory and nine selected treatment facilities in five of the country’s ten Regions, and estimated the costs associated with HIV testing and services (HTS) and antiretroviral therapy (ART) from a provider perspective from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016. We then used the unit costs to construct four resource allocation scenarios. In the first two scenarios, we calculated how close Guyana would currently be to its 2020 targets if the allocation of funding across programs and regions over 2017-2020 had (a) remained unchanged from latest-reported levels, or (b) been optimally distributed to minimize incidence and deaths. In the next two, we estimated the resources that would have been required to meet the 2020 targets if those resources had been distributed (a) according to latest-reported patterns, or (b) optimally to minimize incidence and deaths. RESULTS: The mean cost per test was US$15 and the mean cost per person tested positive was US$796. The mean annual cost per of maintaining established adult and pediatric patients on ART were US$428 and US$410, respectively. The mean annual cost of maintaining virally suppressed patients was US$648. Cost variation across sites may suggest opportunities for improvements in efficiency, or may reflect variation in facility type and patient volume. There may also be scope for improvements in allocative efficiency; we estimated a 28% reduction in the total resources required to meet Guyana’s 2020 targets if funds had been optimally distributed to minimize infections and deaths. CONCLUSIONS: We provide the first estimates of costs along the HIV cascade in the Caribbean and assessed efficiencies using novel context-specific data on the costs associated with diagnostic, treatment, and viral suppression. The findings call for better targeting of services, and efficient service delivery models and resource allocation, while scaling up HIV services to maximize investment impact.
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