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OK Guy
Mar 16, 2002

I was diagnosed Feb. 2001, probably in sero-conversion stage, after a recent infection, (12/00 or 1/01). Anyway, I had recently moved back to my hometown in OK from TX area to be near my parents after the death of my brother in 8/00. They are doing better, and my wife and I are considering relocating from this small area, because of social, financial/economic, educational, and other concerns about securing the best opportunities for our family and children. My Health diagnosis obviously plays a part in this. Currently I am receiving some antiqated and inadeaquate treatment thru a OK Indian Tribe Health Service. The only metro area we are considering in OK is Tulsa. In TX we are considering the Dallas/Fort Worth, and possibly Houston, San Antonio, or Austin. In your opionion where would be the best place for me to go to receive the best treatment, (cutting edge, progressive)? If not one of these places, please recommend the top 5 in the US. I am a teacher, and we are open to relocaton, as long as we are improving the quality of life for our entire family, in every area. My wife and I have BA Degrees that would make us elgible to do Social Work, or a number of other professional options if I choose not to teach. Also, currently I am not carrying any Private Health Insurance is the reason I am restricted currently to Indian Health Services. Thank you. We just need to get these questions/options settled soon. Preferably, no later than Summer 2002. Thanks for your advice.

Response from Dr. Young

Boy, this is a tough question to answer in detail.

You raise the excellent point that the quality and experience of the care provider make a dramatic differnce in the quality and quantity of life for patients. Additionally, experience level of the provider has a significant impact on the cost of medical care (15-20% reduction), compared to inexperienced providers.

There are many locations (mostly big cities) with excellent, caring, health care providers for persons with HIV infection. Any of the Texas cities that you've listed have excellent university and private practice providers.

Choosing a location and doctor are difficult, I'd ask around-- check with local AIDS service organizations, the ACTG or the American Academy of HIV medicine for their recommendations.

Good luck, BY


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