A new study found that for every $1 paid on community-based HIV prevention & STD testing plans in Ontario the medical community saves $5 in treatment costs. Over the last 25 years, these programs have prevented over 16,000 people from getting infected with HIV and rescued Ontario’s health care system of $6.5 billion in medical expenses, said lead author Dr. Sean Rourke of St. Michael’s Hospital.
Dr. Rourke stated that there is significant evidence that behavioural and community-based AIDS/HIV prevention programs are effective in reducing risky behaviour. Especially for the incidence of sexually transmitted infections in high-risk populations. This is the first study in Ontario to demonstrate the programs are also affordable. Dr. Rourke’s results were written up in AIDS and Behaviour journal.
Investing Tax Dollars Pays Off
That it is a good investment is essential advice for health planners and policy decision-makers attempting to budget for their communities. Knowing that allocating scarce resources to AIDS/HIV programs is a good investment or value for money.
The financial burden of HIV infection is abundant. In the US, on average, the lifetime expense to treat one person infected with HIV lies between $253,000 to $402,000. A 2008 research in Alberta found the average treatment cost per patient in that state was $1,159 in 2005 Canadian dollars or $13,908 annually.
Assuming an individual spends 19 to 32 years on antiretroviral drugs, the average lifetime treatment price per HIV patient in Canada was $286,965 in 2011 dollars.
Dr. Rourke stated his findings that community-based programs prevent infections and save healthcare dollars are consistent with similar studies in other jurisdictions. He analyzed HIV infection rates and healthcare spending between 1987. When community-based and public health care programs for HIV started, and 2011.
Community-base HIV prevention programs are those operated by non-profit organizations and governed by independent boards. To be clear they should be established to give HIV prevention, education, and community outreach support services for those who have HIV or who are at risk of disease (e.g. gay men, people from countries where HIV is endemic and native people, people who inject drugs).
They are principally financed by the AIDS Community Action Program of the Public Health Agency of Canada. The AIDS Bureau of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
Given that a preventive vaccine for HIV isn’t yet available, and the HIV epidemic is far from over, continued investments in a mix of authoritative and evidence-based programs is vital.
Dr. Rourke said that if HIV prevention measures are taken into consideration, then the number of HIV prevention and medical care dollars saved could be even higher. So if 70,000 infections are avoided that may lead to $25.3 billion saved. He was pointing specifically to Ontario’s public health control programs for sexually transmitted diseases.
And the introduction in 1997 of HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy). HAART is a blend of three or more medications that suppress HIV, delaying, or preventing the development of AIDS or the onset of symptoms.
Using Celebrities to Promote HIV Prevention
Actor Charlie Sheen, on November 17, 2015, publicly revealed on NBC’s Today Show that he was HIV-positive.
For some time, advocates and scientists have noticed the celebrity’s significance in public health. Could Sheen’s confession, albeit tragic, create repeated national awareness for HIV and HIV prevention, providing a significant public health service?
New study directed by San Diego State University Graduate School of Public Health research scientist, John W. Ayers — just issued by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine discovers there were history highs of national news program of HIV and Google searches for news about HIV and HIV prevention after Charlie Sheen’s confession.
Charlie Sheen’s disclosure was a substantial earth-shaking occasion for HIV prevention in the USA.
Identifying HIV Trends
The group relied on archives for news media trends utilizing the Bloomberg Terminal and Google Trends to explain HIV and HIV prevention engagement since 2004.
Concentrating on the hours after Sheen’s confession, the group watched news stories discussing HIV. Google searches starting from the US broken into four sections. HIV ( searches with “HIV”), HIV symptomology (searches with “symptoms,” “symptom” or “signs of” and “HIV”), condoms (all searches with “condom” or “condoms”), and HIV testing (all searches with “tests,” “test,”or “testing” and “HIV”).
This big data plan allowed us to supply a formative evaluation of the possible consequences of Charlie Sheen’s HIV-positive disclosure free of charge.” Stated Benjamin Althouse, a research scientist in the Institute for Disease Modeling and the Santa Fe Institute. And information architect of this analysis.
We can quickly assess the diffusion of media in the populace. How the population is looking for information depending on the timing and content of the Google searches.
The day of the disclosure of Sheen coincided with a 265 percent growth in news reports mentioning HIV (97 percent of that also named Sheen) archived on the Bloomberg Terminal. Even though HIV-based news reports in historical decline. An additional 6,500 stories published on Google News alone. This put Sheen’s disclosure among the top 1 percent of memorable HIV-related media stories.
Sheen’s disclosure also corresponded with the highest number of HIV-related Google searches ever. Reported in the United States in just one day. Approximately 2.75 million more Google searches than anticipated.
Based on past trends, covered the title HIV on the day of Sheen’s disclosure. With 1.25 million more quests than anticipated including terms for HIV symptoms, condoms, or HIV testing. After adjusting for changes in overall search volume and historical trends.
In comparative terms, all HIV searches were 417 percent higher than anticipated the day of the disclosure of Sheen. Condom searches (like “buy condoms”) increased 75 percent. HIV symptoms (including “signs of HIV”) and HIV testing (like “find HIV testing”) searches raised 540 and 214 percent. Sequentially, the day of Sheen’s disclosure and stayed higher for three days.
AIDS Public Health Challenge
While no one should be compelled to disclose their HIV state, and all investigations are tragic. Sheen’s disclosure may serve public health by possibly helping many learn more about HIV and HIV prevention.
This capacity comes on the bases of historic drops in domestic HIV prevention and awareness. Two weeks before the disclosure of Sheen’s disclosure, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tom Frieden, openly lamented the state of HIV control. Of the more than 1.2 million people in the USA living with HIV, almost one in eight are oblivious of the HIV-positive status.
Sheen’s disclosure could be an essential event to raise public awareness around HIV instantly. Make public health messages about HIV that far more conspicuous.
Celebrity confessions are not new to HIV, with Magic Johnson and Rock Hudson serving as noteworthy examples. Yet, Sheen’s revelation could differ.
With Sheen, unlike with Magic Johnson, for example, we’ve got Smartphones in our pockets that we can easily use to find out about HIV within seconds. Using a single click or search.
At the same time, social media can enlarge the impact of Sheen’s disclosure beyond the first television broadcast as networks form around celebrities.
Regrettably, the public health community could be missing the mark. Few people are unaware of any significant HIV educational campaigns which are utilizing Charlie Sheen’s disclosure for public health outreach.
Ayers said Sheen is a controversial figure. It is incredibly tough to frame public health advice around a person whose behavior, not unlike any non-celebrity. May sometimes struggle with public health science.
The controversy itself justifies further study to stay onward of public debate, according to Mark Dredze, a research specialist with Bloomberg LP, an assistant research scientist at Johns Hopkins University Mark Dredze, and study coauthor. Public health can expand and use our approach to monitor HIV-related tendencies, further and be responsive to those changes in near real-time.
Still, the team notes Sheen Disclosure has generated tremendous public health benefits. “More must do to create the Charlie Sheen effect bigger and lasting,” Ayers concluded.