Failure to Reduce Number of New HIV Infections Could Cost U.S. $18 Billion by 2010
Failure to meet a 2001 CDC goal of reducing the number of new HIV cases in the United States by 50% by 2005 could cost the country more than $18 billion, according to a study published in the June issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, Reuters Health reports. David Holtgrave of Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health and Steven Pinkerton of the Medical College of Wisconsin conducted a cost-effectiveness analysis of reducing the current rate of 40,000 new infections per year to 20,000 per year within the next two years (Reuters Health, 6/9). The researchers found that a failure to reduce new HIV infections by 50% by 2005 would result in 130,000 additional HIV cases between now and 2010, causing incurred net medical expenses to rise to more than $18 billion during that time. Studies have determined that an additional $300 million to $334 million per year in additional resources for prevention programs would be needed for each of the following four fiscal years in order to reduce new infections by 50%. Assuming that such investments are successful at keeping new infections down, the United States could save more than $18 billion through 2010. However, the number of new HIV infections has remained stable at about 40,000 per year for the past decade, and recent epidemiologic studies have shown increases in HIV-related risk behaviors. Given these factors, the researchers said that it is unlikely that the national HIV prevention goal will be met by 2005 (Emory University release, 6/5).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.