The Vira Vida program promotes the health of adolescents and young adults, ages 16 to 24, who have been sexually exploited. It has served more than 3000 individuals in 18 Brazilian states. The objective of this research was to estimate the costs of Vira Vida and compare them with the costs of detention policies for juveniles under 18. This program cost study considers two periods: 2008 to 2012 (Cycle 1) and 2013 to 2014 (Cycle 2). The System S perspective and time horizon for one year were adopted. Direct costs incurred by the National Council of Industry Social Services, which coordinates Vira Vida, and by the Regional Departments (RD), responsible for the direct execution of Vira Vida, were analyzed. The cost of detention measures for adolescents and youngsters under the age of 18 was obtained from the literature. The annual cost per student enrolled in Vira Vida varied between US$ 3754.93 and US$27,244.48, depending on the cycle and the state. Most of the costs of the program were lower than those reported for detention measures for adolescents in Brazilian states. Evidence indicates that health promotion interventions targeting sexually exploited children and adolescents can help their recovery; on the other hand, studies indicate that detention measures do not help adolescents recover.