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Development of a Multi Sexually Transmitted Infections Modelling Software

Sailer, Fabian Daniel; (2021) Development of a Multi Sexually Transmitted Infections Modelling Software. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Background Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) do not operate in isolation; people with risk-taking sexual behaviour in particular are more likely to be co-infected. In this complex landscape policy makers are limited by monetary constraints and still need to find optimal coverage solutions. Disease modelling could help in this context but modelling software accessible to decision makers examining various STIs and HIV is rare. Methods I developed an STI modelling software, using the programming language Java, consisting of a model for each STI and a graphical user interface. The models were drafted based on literature reviews and subsequently refined by experts, e.g. STI clinicians and policy makers. Afterwards, all models were internally and externally validated. The user interface was developed with user interface development experts and policy makers. The resulting software was validated using the MenSS trial. Results The software consists of different models, which serve individual purposes. All models are interacting, individual-based discrete event simulations. Separate disease models, which describe the progression of chlamydia, gonorrhoea, HIV, and syphilis, and their corresponding sequelae describe the progression of the respective infections. Sexual network models are used to describe the formation and dissolution of partnerships and thereby the occurrence of sexual contacts. A user can choose from four different network models which are included in the software. Clinical pathway models, which describe interventions, like screening or treatment for all included STIs, reflect the current English setting. All models have been validated using sensitivity analyses and publicly available data sources. The user interface has been validated by policy makers. Conclusion With this modelling software policy makers can compare intervention options, existing and hypothetical, to each other. All parameters, formulas, model structures, and clinical pathways are editable and well documented. The software is not bound to a specific research question but can be fitted for different scenarios to be reused and updated if needed, e.g. if medicinal knowledge changes. For example, by adapting parameters which describe treatment pathways the software can be used in non-English scenarios.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Development of a Multi Sexually Transmitted Infections Modelling Software
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: Disease Modelling, Health Economics
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10128933
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