AIDS Prevention:

Views on the Administration's Proposed Budget for FY 1988

T-HRD-87-24: Published: Sep 22, 1987. Publicly Released: Sep 22, 1987.

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GAO discussed the: (1) adequacy of the administration's proposed fiscal year 1988 funding levels for the Public Health Service's (PHS) Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) prevention activities, and (2) cost of caring for AIDS patients and the possible cost implications of alternative treatments. GAO found that: (1) of the proposed $790 million proposed AIDS budget, $519 million is for biomedical research to find a vaccine and a cure and $247 million is for prevention and education activities; (2) social, political, and financial barriers preclude expansion of drug treatment programs aimed at the intravenous drug users who spread AIDS through the use of contaminated hypodermic needles; (3) private sector organizations should help finance educational efforts, since the budget request does not provide sufficient funding to launch the massive education campaign needed to educate the general public; (4) intensive educational campaigns may increase the demand for testing, which would increase budgetary needs to meet the demand; (5) investing in AIDS prevention now could help contain future medical costs; (6) although the cost of treating AIDS patients varies, a recent estimate predicted that cumulative AIDS medical treatment cost could reach $64 billion in 1991; and (7) outpatient diagnosis and therapy and home-and community-based services could help to minimize costs.

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