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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Medical Specialties & Departments > HIV/AIDS Treatment

HIV/AIDS Treatment Cost


How Much Does HIV/AIDS Treatment Cost?

 
low costMedications, With Health Insurance: $10-$30 Eachaverage costMedications, Without Health Insurance: $185-$3,000 Per Monthhigh costPneumonia Hospitalization: $9,000+
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HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus)[1] is the cause of AIDS, a chronic and potentially life-threatening condition. The virus acts by attacking the immune system, leaving the body unable to fight off disease. There is no cure for HIV/AIDs, but it can be controlled through a combination of medications.

Typical costs:

  • Physicians are likely to prescribe one or more medications to treat HIV/AIDS[2] . Most private insurers cover the cost of HIV/AIDs treatments and medications, requiring covered members to be responsible for copays that typically range from $10-$30 per prescription. Without insurance, annual HIV/AIDS treatment costs[3] can cost $14,000-$20,000, according to Michael Kolber, a professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
  • Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors work by disabling a protein HIV needs to duplicate. One NNRTI, Sustiva[4] (efavirenz), costs about $185 per month.
  • Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors are flawed versions of the building blocks used for HIV replication, meaning they disrupt the protein-duplication process. Ziagen[5] (abacavir) typically costs about $600 per month; the generic version is about $70 less. Another NRTI, Truvada, costs about $1,200 per month.
  • Protease inhibitors are frequently part of an HIV/AIDS patients' medication regimen, preventing the reproduction of HIV. Prezista[6] (darunavir) is a commonly prescribed medication which costs about $145 per month. www.drugs.com/lexiva.html>Lexiva (fosamprenavir), another protease inhibitor, costs about $860 per month.
  • Entry or fusion inhibitors block HIV's access to CD4 cells. One fusion inhibitor, Fuzeon[7] (enfuvirtide), costs about $2,950 per month. Another medication, Selzentry[8] (maraviroc), costs about $550 per month.
  • Integrase inhibitors block a protein need for HIV to infect CD4 cells. Isentress[9] (raltegravir) costs about $1,100 per month.
Related articles: STD Testing, Thrush Treatment, Marinol, Medical Marijuana

What should be included:
  • HIV/AIDS patients typically start by seeing a primary care physician if exposure to the virus is known. The doctor may refer the patient to an infectious disease specialist. Diagnostic tests[10] are likely to include checking CD4 count, viral load and drug resistance.
  • Medication and lifestyle changes[11] are the typical treatments for the chronic disease.
Additional costs:
  • Some HIV/AIDS patients find that dietary supplements[12] help boost the immune system or fight the side effects of medications. A bottle of 360 fish oil capsules costs $18 at GNC[13] .
  • Because HIV/AIDS patients suffer from a compromised immune system, they are susceptible to other illnesses and may need to treat those symptoms. For example, patients may need to be hospitalized with pneumonia complications. The average cost of a pneumonia hospitalization is $9,000, according to Healthcare Cost Utilization Process[14] .
  • Many HIV/AIDS patients suffer from nausea, vomiting and weight loss as a result of treatment and use either medical marijuana or Marinol as a treatment.
Discounts:
  • Many HIV/AIDS medications may have generic versions available, which can help reduce the cost.
  • Medicaid and Medicare offer low-income HIV/AIDS patients care and treatment through government-run programs.
  • The AIDS Drug Assistance Program[15] , mandated by the Ryan White Act, provides help for HIV/AIDS treatment in each state.
  • Participating in clinical trials[16] might provide access to medicine at little or no cost.
  • Many manufacturers provide discounts on name-brand medications. For example, the Sustiva manufacturer offers a rebate program[17] that offers up to a $200 discount on monthly refills. The Prezista maker has a patient savings program[18] that offers up to $100 back.
Shopping for hiv/aids treatment:
  • The US Department of Health and Human Services provides assistance in finding care in a patient's home state[19] .
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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External Resources:
  1.  www.nih.gov/about/discovery/infectiousdiseases/hiv.htm
  2.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/hiv-aids/DS00005/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs
  3.  www.everydayhealth.com/hiv-aids/can-you-afford-hiv-treatment.aspx
  4.  www.drugs.com/sustiva.html
  5.  www.drugs.com/cdi/ziagen.html
  6.  www.drugs.com/prezista.html
  7.  www.drugs.com/fuzeon.html
  8.  www.drugs.com/selzentry.html
  9.  www.drugs.com/isentress.html
  10.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/hiv-aids/DS00005/DSECTION=tests-and-diagnosis
  11.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/hiv-aids/DS00005/DSECTION=lifestyle-and-home-remedies
  12.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/hiv-aids/DS00005/DSECTION=alternative-medicine
  13.  www.gnc.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3943828
  14.  hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/factsandfigures/2009/exhibit4_1.jsp
  15.  hab.hrsa.gov/abouthab/partbdrug.html
  16.  www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?term=HIV+AND+hiv+infection
  17.  www.bmscopayprogramsusrey.com/bmscopayprogramsusrey/index.html
  18.  www.prezista.com/patients/assistance-and-support/patient-savings-program
  19.  www.hhs.gov/news/press/2012pres/09/20120912a.html/
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