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article imageExtent of HIV in the U.S. and how much it costs

By Tim Sandle     Nov 29, 2018 in Health
How much do HIV infections cost the U.S. economy? What are the rates of HIV infection in the U.S. These questions, to mark World AIDS Day 2018, have been assessed by personal-finance website WalletHub.
World AIDS Day has been held on 1 December every year since 1988. The day is focused on raising awareness of the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) pandemic caused by the spread of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection. The United Nations backed event is also used to remember those who have died of the disease. There is also a ficus on education related to AIDS prevention and control.
Each year World AIDS day has a theme. For 2018 the theme is "Know your status" (for 2017 the theme was "My Health, My Right"). The 2018 theme “Know your status” highlights the importance of people getting tested for HIV.
To mark World AIDS Day in the U.S., personal-finance website WalletHub today released its 2018 HIV/AIDS Facts report to help build awareness about this disease. The report includes an infographic with a range of statistics as well as a Q&A with a panel of healthcare experts.
There are some interesting statistics in the report. For example, with the cost of treating someone with HIV, the typical expenditure is $380,000, which represents the lifetime treatment cost for an HIV infection. Another cost statistic is the $640.1 million spent during 2018 on federal funding for domestic HIV/AIDS research and prevention. Perhaps the need for the high level of federal funding is due to the relatively low levels that U.S. foundations and corporations receive in charitable donations to campaign on HIV/AIDS or to sponsor research Donations represent just $0.71 per $100.
In terms of the impact on the U.S. population, there are estimates to be 1.1 million U.S. citizens living with HIV (here it is assumed that 15 percent are unaware). This tally grows each year, with around 40,000 people are infected each year. In terms of deaths, since the early 1980s it's calculated that 693,000 people in the U.S. have died of AIDS since the beginning of the epidemic.
The need for a heightened level of awareness is reinforced by Douglas D. Richman, M.D., who is Director of the HIV Institute at the University of California, San Diego, based on the future time point where a cure may be found. Richman says it's a while off: "HIV/AIDS investigators have always been optimistic, so I think medical progress will succeed in the next 50 years. Being realistic I do not think it will be available in the next decade."
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