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Commentary & Opinion

Opinion: New HIV Infections More Expensive Than Providing Antiretroviral Drugs to Existing Patients

May 16, 2011

In light of study findings released last week showing the risk of HIV transmission can be reduced by 96 percent if HIV-positive patients begin combination antiretroviral therapy as soon as possible, a San Francisco Chronicle editorial asks, "The evidence is clearly starting to show that it's much better to treat patients earlier, but from where will the money come?"

The editorial continues, "Many poor countries, already struggling to deliver therapy to those with full-blown AIDS, will probably conclude that they can't afford to launch early treatment programs for people who aren't already sick. ... [But]what are really expensive are new HIV infections. Early treatment offers enormous returns for patients' health and productivity, and now, it appears, that benefit extends to their partners as well. It doesn't come cheaper than that" (5/14).

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This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.



  
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
 
See Also
Treating HIV-Infected People With Antiretrovirals Reduces Transmission to Partners by 96%, Study Finds
HPTN 052 Results -- Another Win for Early HIV Therapy
Major Opinion on Major HIV/AIDS Crisis: Why Isn't the U.S. Funding More Treatment for Its Citizens?
More on HIV Treatment in the Developing World
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
More on Global HIV Prevention
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