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a few simple questions

Dec 3, 2003

1) How much is the average cost of hiv meds?

2)If a person takes his meds everyday what are the chances of developing aids ever?

3) Are we close to a cure or have new therapies that look promising?

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your questions.

(1) The cost of HIV medications varies a lot, depending on how you calculate them. In the US, the retail cost of medications can range from about $10,000 to $15,000 per year. The cost to the consumer, of course, depends on insurance and other assistance programs. Very few persons actually pay the entire cost of medications on their own. The cost of medications in other countries, particularly in the developing world is much less, dependent of generic drugs and other assistance programs.

(2) If a person with HIV (without AIDS) takes effective medications with good adherence, the risk of progressing to AIDS or having an AIDS complication is very, very low.

(3) There is no cure for HIV. The only "cure" is prevention of the disease, by safe sex (i.e., condoms) or safe drugs, or by preventing transmission from infected mother to baby. We have many new HIV medications this year, and increasing information about how to more effectively use the previous drugs. These advances include better tolerated, easier to take options that are equally or more potent than previous medical regimens. I would view this as a very promising situation. BY

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