The research steps toward a cure for HIV may be numerous, but the cost-to-benefit ratio of curing the virus in a large population is “likely to be high, if we can do it,” said Joseph Eron, MD, professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.
The ultimate goal of a cure for HIV is to reach everyone, Eron says. And the costs of the current therapies, when assessed over the course of a typical life span in a patient with HIV, are not insignificant and justify the costs of potentially curative treatments.
Finding a cure may require special medication and “innovative or out of the box thinking in terms of improving the immune system,” said Eron. “In the beginning, it will be expensive and it won’t be available to everybody.”
“This how medicine works – we achieve a goal and then we try to scale that,” said Eron of cure research. “We try to learn from what we’ve gained and make it more affordable [and] more available to patients.”