Study: Female condom program likely saved $6M
An effort by the District to increase the use of female condoms, the lesser-known equivalent of the male condom, likely prevented 23 new HIV infections and saved taxpayers $6 million in its first year, according to a new study.
The study, conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the D.C. Department of Health, was published online last week in the scientific journal AIDS and Behavior. It says taxpayers saved millions of dollars because 3 out of every 4 Hiv-positive persons receiving treatment are getting health care through taxpayer-funded programs such as Medicaid. The study was paid for by the Female Health Co., maker of the female condom.
The researchers’ calculations used such factors as the prevalence of HIV and the rates of sexually transmitted infections in the District. The cost analysis also used a health department estimate that about twothirds of the condoms were used during sex.
The researchers noted that a randomized trial would be a better way to measure the program’s impact, but such a study would be too expensive and require a large number of participants.