The Estimated Direct Medical Cost of Selected Sexually Transmitted Infections in the United States, 2008

From the Divisions of *STD Prevention, †Viral Hepatitis, and ‡HIV/AIDS Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.
Sexually transmitted diseases (Impact Factor: 2.84). 03/2013; 40(3):197-201. DOI: 10.1097/OLQ.0b013e318285c6d2
Source: PubMed


Millions of cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) occur in the United States each year, resulting in substantial medical costs to the nation. Previous estimates of the total direct cost of STIs are quite dated. We present updated direct medical cost estimates of STIs in the United States.
We assembled recent (i.e., 2002-2011) cost estimates to determine the lifetime cost per case of 8 major STIs (chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B virus, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), human papillomavirus, genital herpes simplex virus type 2, trichomoniasis and syphilis). The total direct cost for each STI was computed as the product of the number of new or newly diagnosed cases in 2008 and the estimated discounted lifetime cost per case. All costs were adjusted to 2010 US dollars.
Results indicated that the total lifetime direct medical cost of the 19.7 million cases of STIs that occurred among persons of all ages in 2008 in the United States was $15.6 (range, $11.0-$20.6) billion. Total costs were as follows: chlamydia ($516.7 [$258.3-$775.0] million), gonorrhea ($162.1 [$81.1-$243.2] million), hepatitis B virus ($50.7 [$41.3-$55.6] million), HIV ($12.6 [$9.5-$15.7] billion), human papillomavirus ($1.7 [$0.8-$2.9] billion), herpes simplex virus type 2 ($540.7 [$270.3-$811.0] million), syphilis ($39.3 [$19.6-$58.9] million), and trichomoniasis ($24.0 [$12.0-$36.0] million). Costs associated with HIV infection accounted for more than 81% of the total cost. Among the nonviral STIs, chlamydia was the most costly infection.
Sexually transmitted infections continue to impose a substantial cost burden on the payers of medical care in the United States. The burden of STIs would be even greater in the absence of STI prevention and control efforts.

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    • "For example, HPV vaccination was launched with a price of around $360 per course in the US, but is now available through the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) in low income countries for $4.50 [34]. The opportunity for tiered pricing is more apparent for the viral STIs, where a cure is not possible through current treatment, treatment of disease causes a burden on the system [32] and there is a psychosocial burden [35] "
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