Dr Milena Murray: Maintaining HIV Viral Load Suppression Can Save Health Care Dollars

Several economic benefits stem from engaging in care soon after HIV transmission and maintaining viral load suppression, noted Milena Murray, PharmD, MSc, BCIDP, AAHIVP, associate professor, Midwestern University College of Pharmacy.

Less hospitalization, health care dollars spent, and missed days of work, as well as better outcomes, especially for patients engaged in care soon after transmission, are all economic benefits from maintaining viral load suppression when living with HIV, noted Milena Murray, PharmD, MSc, BCIDP, AAHIVP, associate professor at Midwestern University College of Pharmacy who practices at Northwestern Medicine's Infectious Disease Center in Chicago.


What are the economic benefits of maintaining viral load suppression?

There's a lot of literature confirming that patients with an undetectable viral load have less hospitalizations and better outcomes than patients with a detectable viral load. And patients that get into care early after transmission, so if we can diagnose them early in the disease course, they also spend less health care dollars overall, both indirect and directly.

Direct benefits to the patient with having that stronger immune system, they’re potentially going to the doctor less often, they're having less issues, no opportunistic infections. And then indirectly over the patient's lifetime, if they're feeling better and have a better immune system, they have less missed days of work.