The President’s proposed budget recognizes that investing slightly more in HIV prevention makes sense, especially since the nation’s HIV prevention budget has been virtually flat since the mid-1990s. Effective HIV prevention counselors and outreach workers help their community clients to prioritize risk reduction and avoid an HIV infection that would otherwise cost each infected person $367,000 in lifetime treatment costs. #

HIV prevention is also a smart investment because non-medical costs make each HIV infection cost society 4.5x more than the costs of treatment alone. People living with HIV may lose workdays due to treatment side effects or to illness; loved ones pay higher family insurance premiums; they may skip promotions, or drop out of the labor pool altogether to serve as caregivers. Prevention can eliminate all of these society burdens at a cost of pennies on the dollar. #

The proposed $58M increase in prevention funding still means a relative decrease in the “buying power” for HIV prevention, relative to the budget in the mid-1990s. However, in these tight budget times, even this incremental increase will add boots on the ground for HIV prevention. #

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