Aug 27, 2008
I am HIV+ and a prominent local figure, having acquired the infection in a freak accident involving splattering of blood. I cannot go "public" with my illness, cannot make claim on my insurance (as everyone would find out (very small community)) and cannot afford the very expensive drugs. Are there options for those like me that require annonymity and need financial assistance (or foreign source drugs) if meds become a necessity?
Response from Dr. Young
Thanks for your post.
You're in a difficult situation, but one that is not unique. We often will see patients who travel some distance from their hometowns to our office in Denver-- simply to not have to have unintended disclosure of HIV status.
Confidentiality is very important, though I'm not sure that anonymity is your goal. If you have a regular income and insurance, you won't be eligible for government or pharmaceutical company assistance. Sometimes clinical studies can provide a jump start to testing and treatment, but these only last for 1-2 years on average. I generally don't recommend leaving the country to purchase HIV medications; indeed, this is illegal from a drug importation standpoint.
I would spend some time exploring how confidential your insurance plan/company is- if this can be secured, then seeking out of town medical care might be your best option.
Good luck to you, BY
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