Objective - Estimates of healthcare costs associated with HIV infection would provide valuable insight for evaluating the cost-effectiveness of possible prevention interventions. We evaluate the additional lifetime healthcare cost incurred due to living with HIV.
Methods - We used a stochastic computer simulation model to project the distribution of lifetime outcomes and costs of men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) infected with HIV in 2013 aged 30, over 10,000 simulations. We assumed a resource-rich setting with no loss to follow-up, and that standards and costs of healthcare management remain as now.
Results - Based on a median (interquartile range) life expectancy of 71.5 (45.0-81.5) years for MSM in such a setting, the estimated mean lifetime cost of treating one person was £360,800 ($567,000 or €480,000). With 3.5% discounting, it was £185,200 ($291,000 or €246,000). The largest proportion (68%) of these costs was attributed to antiretroviral drugs. If patented drugs are replaced by generic versions (at 20% cost of patented prices), estimated mean lifetime costs reduced to £179,000 ($281,000 or €238,000) and £101,200 ($158,900 or €134,600) discounted.
Conclusions - If 3,000 MSM had been infected in 2013, then future lifetime costs relating to HIV care is likely to be in excess of £1 billion. It is imperative for investment into prevention programmes to be continued or scaled-up in settings with good access to HIV care services. Costs would be reduced considerably with use of generic antiretroviral drugs.