A new study in the June issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes suggests that a failure to meet a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention goal of reducing annual U.S. HIV infections by half by 2005 could end up costing the country more than $18 billion for care and other services by 2010, Reuters Health reports. Failing to cut the nation's HIV infection rate from about 40,000 new cases per year to half that number will result in 130,000 additional people living with HIV by 2010. Those people will require an estimated $18 billion in health care and support services between now and the end of the decade, according to the study.
By contrast, researchers at the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and the Medical College of Wisconsin estimate that in order to reduce annual HIV infections by half, an additional $300 million to $334 million would be needed for each of the next four years, for a total of $1.2 billion to $1.3 billion. However, the researchers say that given the current political climate in Washington and federal budget constraints, it is unlikely that additional prevention funding will be provided and that the CDC's goal of cutting the infection rate in half is unlikely to be achieved by 2005.