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Make only 12,000 a year, how can i afford meds?
Oct 19, 2003

Dr. Young,

Hi I have a real problem. I make only 12,000 a year and there is no way i will be able to pull off the full cost of medicines? I need treatment, where do i go for assistance? Please im desperate. Have no insurance. Cd 4 200 viral load 150,000

Response from Dr. Young

Assuming that you live in the US and are fortunate enough to live in a state with good funding for their AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), you should have little difficulty in obtaining medications for treating HIV.

There are a number of governmental and non-governmental programs for medication assistance. I would advise you to contact your doctor or local AIDS service organization for assistance in navigating this pathway.

If you have a very limited income, another mechanism for getting medications are the number of drug assistance programs that are available directly from the pharmaceutical companies.

Also, consider enrollement in a clinical study (actually, this is my first choice in getting medications)-- this is often a way to get free medications, free laboratory testing and HIV-related health care. Studies are not for everbody, but for those who fit the entry criteria and are willing, this is a way to get considerable 1- or 2- year financial support and help your fellow HIV-infected person as well.

Lastly, with your CD4 count of 200 and viral load over 100,000, I would not delay too long in getting started on medications. Find an experienced HIV doctor (or care provider), evaluate your medication options and hopefully get started. With appropriate med selection and monitoring, meds should be very well tolerated and very effective.

Good luck, thanks for reading. BY



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