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starting hiv treatment
Oct 31, 2012

I am most probably infected by HIV on 09/01/2012 if my blood test become positive for HIV.I have no health insurance .Can I wait till 2014 to get health insurance and get treated for HIV infection?Will it be late ?

Response from Dr. McGowan

It is generally best to start treatment sooner rather than later. If you are willing to be treated there are often means of getting coverage for HIV medications. If you live in the United States you should visit your local HIV treatment center (often a receiver of Ryan White grant funding from the state/federal government). These centers and other Community-based HIV service agencies will have social workers available to help you apply for Medicaid or ADAP (AIDS Drug Assistant Program) which can pay for your meds if you meet certain income eligibility standards.

The risk of waiting will depend on your CD4 count (which is a measure of the strength and balance of your immune system- the higher the better) and the HIV viral load (the amount of HIV virus in your blood- the lower the better). A low CD4 and/or a high viral load will make it more important to start meds sooner since your immune system could be effected more quickly.

Best, Joe



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