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Must be rich to get best treatment?

Oct 1, 2002

Hi there,Im just wondering if people like "Majic Johnson" get better treatment to hiv because of there money compared to us average sallary earners.Does wealth mean a difference in getting best treatment and living longer or are we all able to get the best treatment no matter who we are?(assuming that we live in the U.S or in my case Australia).Thanks for your time.

Response from Dr. Wohl

No, it would be fantasy to believe that everyone in the US, Europe and Australia has equal access to HIV medications and care. They do not. This is a fact of life and death in our health care systems.

Where I live and work the ironies abound. If you make good money and have insurance OR if you are really poor you can generally get HIV therapy at little to no cost. If you in between, you are generally screwed. Drugs are grossly overpriced but pharmaceutical support programs provide free drugs to some of those left out in the cold. Others qualify for free drugs but are addicted to crack or heroin and don't get tested or come in for treatment. It is perverse and needs fixing but it could be worse. Think Africa, think China.

HIV therapy, like health care, is a right. It needs to be provided to those in need no matter where they live whether in Mississippi, New Delhi, Durban or Sydney. Only if we consider it such and not a luxury will we succeed in making universal access to HIV care a reality. DW

magic johnson
newly infected

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