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Universal Access To HIV Treatment Can Be Achieved

“Thirty years after AIDS made its deadly debut, a future without the disease is finally within reach,” a Boston Globe editorial states, adding, “But just as science is on the verge of winning the battle, financial resources and political will are flagging.” The editorial details reductions in HIV spending, a Congressional stipulation that U.S. funds cannot be spent on needle-exchange programs, and new science showing how HIV treatment can help people living with the disease live longer and reduce the risk of them spreading the virus.

“In light of all this, providing universal access to HIV treatment and preventative services seems daunting. But it is doable,” the editorial states, citing a study published in the Lancet that estimated “it would cost — at most — $24 billion per year. That’s just $8 billion more than the world currently spends, including the health budgets of developing countries.” The editorial concludes, “Such an investment would reap a swift return: fewer infected people and lower costs in the long-run. An estimated $40 billion would be saved over the next decade on antiretroviral drugs alone. That makes the failure to enact such a plan penny-wise but pound-foolish” (1/22).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.