South Carolina has the nation’s eighth-highest rate of new HIV diagnoses. Community based, nonprofit SSP proves to be one of the best methods of decreasing new HIV infection rates.
Private insurance covered only 17% of the cost of hospital-based treatment for HIV in 2018. The balance was covered by Medicare (39.5%), Medicaid (27.8%) or billed to indigent/self-pay patients (15.7%). As a nonprofit 501c3, Challenges Inc greatly reduces the burden on SC tax payers by providing evidence based practices.
"In January 2019, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) received verification from the CDC that South Carolina is at high-risk for HIV and HCV outbreaks due to increased opioid use and unsafe drug injection activities in the state. This CDC response not only emphasizes the need that exists in South Carolina to fund SSPs, but also provides recommendations for implementing this effective public health intervention to address these co-occurring epidemics" (IMPH, 2019).
In South Carolina, the average lifetime cost for treating one person living with HIV is $478,000 (in 2017 dollars). A new syringe costs about 9 cents.
For HCV, the lowest cost treatment option is currently $26,400 per year, but can be as much as $189,000 per year. Again, a new syringe costs about 9 cents.
Each individual with HCV who injects drugs infects an average of 20 other people. Syringe Exchange is one of the most effective measures against this.
Between 2014 and 2015, Scott County Indiana saw an HIV outbreak of over 200 new infections of HIV with a 90% Hepatitis C co occurrence rate. Since the inception of the Scott County Syringe Services Programs, there have been less than 5 new cases of HIV in preceding years. *(1)
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other national public health leaders view SSPs as a key component of a comprehensive strategy for combatting the nation’s opioid crisis and reducing the transmission of infectious disease, thereby saving lives and money. SSPs are safe, effective, cost-saving, do not increase illegal drug use or crime and are frequently supported by law enforcement officials and emergency workers. There is an estimated return on investment of $7.58 for every $1 spent for non-profit SSPs. *(2)
Syringes for South Carolina syringe exchange, Challenges Inc for reducing infectious disease in SC.
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