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December 12, 1986

Planning for the Health Care Needs of Patients With AIDS

JAMA. 1986;256(22):3140. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380220106033

An important aspect of the epidemic of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is its impact on health care provision in the United States. Because of the severe and disabling nature of AIDS, patients with the disease often require specialized medical care and psychosocial support. As AIDS becomes increasingly common, detailed information on health care needs is urgently required for long-term planning.

One approach to quantifying such needs is to estimate the cost of health care for AIDS patients. Such estimates allow comparisons with costs for other diseases and are useful in determining the efficiency of various systems of health care provision. Although the cost of caring for patients with AIDS is generally recognized to be high, few attempts have been made to quantify these costs. Our earlier report1 estimated health care expenditures for the first 10 000 AIDS patients in the United States and pointed out the paucity of relevant