In the 1980s, at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, more than 59,000 Americans lost their lives to the brutal disease. The $146.6 billion that federal funding has contributed to the battle against AIDS since 2012 is paying off, but AIDS still claims far too many lives and HIV is still far too costly, increasing the average patient’s healthcare costs by roughly 20%. An infographic by WalletHub summarizes HIV/AIDS statistics, along with Q&As with a panel of experts about the disease’s costs.
Jared Baeten, a professor and vice chair of global health at University of Washington, served as a topic expert to answer:
- Do you believe we will have a cure for HIV/AIDS in the next 50 years?
- How can state and local authorities work to reduce the transmission of HIV/AIDS?
- Should the government mandate pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) be covered by all insurance plans, including Medicaid?
Baeten also recently discussed his work as an investigator on pivotal PrEP and vaginal ring trials in several African countries with high prevalence of HIV. In an interview with Protomag about the endgame for the HIV/AIDS epidemic, he compares the vaginal ring, which has shown to reduce the rate of HIV infection by 56% among women who used it consistently, to the first trials of oral PrEP, which reduced HIV infection by 44%.