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Lifetime cost of
anti-HIV treatment estimated at more than $400,000

Lifetime cost of
anti-HIV treatment estimated at more than $400,000

A study presented at the Third International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis and Treatment in Rio de Janeiro estimates that the lifetime cost of treating an HIV-positive person exceeds $400,000 and can run as high as $648,000 without discounts on antiretroviral drugs, reports. Using data collected from 17 U.S. HIV care sites and a computer model to calculate care costs over time, the researchers predict that adults who begin antiretroviral treatment when their CD4-cell counts drop below 350 cells can be expected to live 24.1 years and will run up a medical tab of between $405,000 with drug discounts to as high as $648,000 without them.

Adults starting anti-HIV drugs with a CD4-cell count below 200--the AIDS-defining threshold--were predicted to live an average of 22.4 years and to spend from $370,000 to $589,000 for their care.

The study estimates that 68% of lifetime HIV care costs are for antiretroviral drugs, 16% for outpatient care, 11% for inpatient care, and 5% for other medications and laboratory costs.

Based on their findings, the researchers estimate that the 40,000 people newly infected with HIV each year in the United States will require about $12.8 billion in medical care.

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