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I am broke. Considering moving to a cheaper country. Which ones are OK for HIV+ people?

Apr 19, 2017

I am almost 63 years old. Social Security Disability for 10 years. Income $1888./month

I currently live in Southeastern Massachusetts.

I can't afford to live here anymore. Massachusetts is great, but one of the programs that helps me with insurance has been cut, and because I live so close to the edge, life here is becoming untenable. I am hitting food pantries and missing medical appointments for lack of gas money. Even though my mortgage is a reasonable $950/month, I will not be able to sustain myself very much longer here. I am becoming despondent. Are there any countries that are cheaper and good for HIV+ retirees?

Response from Mr. Vergel

I am sorry about your current financial stress. I am glad you are looking for options to make your money go further.

Before you think about moving overseas, explore the area of Fort Lauderdale in Florida since their cost of living is a fraction of what is in Massachusetts. If the cost of living there is still an issue, here are some countries that some of my pozhealth group members suggest:

From Chad:

"You might look at Thailand. It is fairly inexpensive to live there and medication is significantly cheaper. They don't always have all HIV medication on their formulary. I have lived there off and on for years. I have been able to get good HIV care"

From Peter:

"Take a look at the Philippines, HIV meds here are free but not all the latest ones are available so at the moment I fly to Bangkok Thailand for them. There is no restriction on HIV+ people, it's not even asked about but, if you do go to get treated here you may be added to the government statistics but that's it, it won't affect anything.

A foreigner is eligible for the Filipino health care from Philhealth the cost of which is around 65 USD a year. It won't cover all the medical bills but will cover about 70 percent, the cost of treatment in hospitals here is government controlled and is a fraction of that in the West, also there is no age limit."

From Joe:

"Certain cities in Mexico like Guadalajara have a big American ex-patriate community that has good care. Mexico has most of the medications approved in the US and a socialized medicine program. The cost of living is probably 60% of that of the US and it is close to home"

From David:

"I was like you and decided to move to Cuenca in Ecuador. It is so cheap here that I can afford rent and a cleaning lady. It is a gorgeous place with cool weather all year. I used their local clinic when I had a bad cold and I was impressed. There are many Americans living in Cuenca. Ecuador is relatively more stable politically than most Latin American cities"

I hope these suggestions help. It is not an easy decision and should be one done with good research.

Good luck!

In health,

Nelson

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