BLOOMINGTON -- Health experts predict the lifetime cost of treatment for those impacted by Indiana’s HIV outbreak could reach $58 million.
Since the outbreak started last year, the state health department says 184 people have been diagnosed with HIV. Co-Director of the Rural Center for AIDS and STD Prevention Beth Meyerson says the lifetime medical costs for a person with HIV run between $230,000 and $350,000.
"This is antiviral treatment, this is non-medication related costs or chronic disease medication," Meyerson said.
Ninety percent of the people diagnosed as part of the outbreak also have Hepatitis C, which drives the cost of care up even more.
State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams says continuing outreach efforts and connecting people to resources like syringe exchanges could help keep the overall costs down.
"I do think if we are vigilant, and if we continue to do the things we need to do, the cost won't be as bad as $58 million," Adams said.
Adams says the state has spent between $1 to $2 million dollars on its response.