An optimal HIV prevention program for the United States would require an additional $877 million in fiscal year 2009 and an additional $4.8 billion over five years, more than doubling what is currently being spent.
Top officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offered the “professional judgment budget” in testimony before a September 16 hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, chaired by Representative Henry Waxman (D-California).
“CDC could greatly expand its efforts, increasing coverage and impact, and could provide leadership to an effective U.S. response to the epidemic at home,” read the report submitted by CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding.
The enhanced funding was projected to reduce by 50 percent the number of people who do not know their HIV status, and over 12 years, cut the number of new infections in half. Given the lifetime cost of treating a person with HIV, preventing just 4,800 new infections over five years, would recoup all of the additional costs of the program.
“Not only do we need to expand what we know can work, we’ve got to find new things. The research for new tools is a very important part of it,” she said.
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