I have no health insurance and I have limited finances; how do I pay for treatment?
There are programs that assist those that fall below a certain income levels. The AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) offers federal assistance, but a number of different local groups in each city also offer assistance. Www.Health.gov is a website that can help you locate local groups that offer assistance in your city.
HIV/AIDS is a serious but chronic manageable disease. People who get treatment tend to live relatively normal lives, generally longer than the 1/3 of Americans with serious cardiovascular disease or diabetes. It is far more treatable than most cancers, specifically breast and cervical cancer, which kills at a significantly higher rate than HIV. However it is quite serious and has a real impact on those who live with it, and will eventually kill most people who are infected and get no doctor’s attention or treatment. But most people in this country live many decades after becoming infected. According to Robert Bailey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Person’s infected with HIV who begin treatment early are 96% less likely to transmit the virus to their sexual partners, and more likely to live very long lives because early treatment lowers the amount of HIV in the body. What’s unfortunate is that, of the 1.2 million American’s living with HIV, only 28% are receiving regular care, taking the necessary medicine and have viral suppression, and that needs to change.”
We need to stop thinking and talking about HIV/AIDS as if it is still 1981, and start to develop the same kind of supportive environment for those who are HIV positive as we do for victims of cancer or heart disease. A lot has changed in terms of medical advancement for HIV care over the last 30 years – however, the level of public ignorance about it remains quite stagnant and the disproportionate contraction rates in our community in comparison to other nationalities only supports this fact; as the saying goes “What hurts just one hurts us all”.
To get the facts about HIV/AIDS visit www.actagainstaids.org.