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Monthly HIV treatment cost now over $2,000

NEW YORK, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- The average monthly cost of care for an American with HIV from diagnosis until death is $2,100, a new study says.

The projected life expectancy for these individuals, if they remain in optimal HIV care, has now increased to 24.2 years, and the lifetime per person HIV care cost is now $618,900 per person, according to a Cornell University study appearing in the Nov. 2006 issue of Medical Care. Some 70 percent of that cost comes from medicines.

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The cost is comparable to the lifetime healthcare cost of a woman with heart disease, the study says.

It is important to know the cost of HIV care, the study concludes, because it will help make sure resources are allocated appropriately.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that about 40,000 people become infected with HIV every year in the United States. Under current care standards, these infections will result in $12.1 billion annually in future treatment costs.

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