WASHINGTON -- The cost of treating HIV-infected Americanswill increase more than 21 percent per year between 1991 and1994, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Servicesscientist said Wednesday at the Seventh InternationalConference on AIDS in Florence, Italy.

Fred Hellinger, director of the division of cost and financing atHHS, presented a paper forecasting the medical care costs ofthe HIV epidemic in the United States from 1991 to 1994.

Hellinger predicted that each year twice as many people willbe diagnosed with the AIDS virus, HIV -- but will not haveAIDS symptoms -- as the number of people who develop AIDSsymptoms. He estimated the 1991 annual cost of treating anAIDS patient at $32,000 and for treating an HIV-infectedperson without AIDS at $5,150.

He said that $5.8 billion will be spent on treating patientswith HIV this year and estimated that the figure wouldincrease to $10.4 billion in 1994.

-- Steve Usdin BioWorld Washington Bureau

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.