Summary:We estimated the annual number and cost of new HIV infections in the United States attributable to other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). We used a mathematical model of HIV transmission to estimate the probability that a given STD infection would facilitate HIV transmission from an HIV-infected person to his or her partner and to calculate the number of HIV infections due to these facilitative effects. In 1996, an estimated 5052 new HIV cases were attributable to the four STDs considered here: chlamydia (3249 cases), syphilis (1002 cases), gonorrhea (430 cases), and genital herpes (371 cases). These new HIV cases account for approximately $985 million U.S. in direct HIV treatment costs. The model suggested that syphilis is far more likely than the other STDs (on a per-case basis) to facilitate HIV transmission. This analysis provides a framework for incorporating STD-attributable HIV treatment costs into cost-effectiveness analyses of STD prevention programs.
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Manuscript received September 13, 1999; accepted February 16, 2000.
© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.