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POOR PEOPLE WITH H.I.V.
Jun 25, 2003

i have been recently diagnosed HIV positive. I have no job, and no health insurance and really no money at all. i don't know what to do. will i be discarded and left for dead? is there anybody that can help me in this situation? i feel groundless.

Response from Mr. Shernoff

Being poor and uninsured in the United States certainly makes it more difficult but not impossible to get good medical and supportive services for HIV. There are two things you must do. First make an appointment to visit the local AIDS service organization so you can receive help enrolling for all of the entitlements you qualify for.

They can also refer you to a specialized clinic that serves poor people with HIV and accepts medicaid. Most states now have a program known as ADAP (AIDS Drug Assistance Plan) which is funded by the federal government to help poor people obtain AIDS drugs at very little or no cost. Some states like NY also have a plan that helps poor people obtain health insurance that is paid for by the governemnt. But you need to consult with an expert in this field. Most AIDS service organizations have specialists on staff that do nothing other than help people like you get the services they need and deserve.

Michael Shernoff, MSW



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