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stopping meds

Jan 31, 2007

I'm a 44 y/o man who has been diagnosed for 13 yrs and have done well up to this point. I've had my ups and downs, including bypass surgery in 2001 which has emotionally changed me for life and not in a good way. Every year it seems that I have to fight t stay on programs that are supposed to be designed to help people such as me, yet the government makes it harder and harder. I no longer have private insurance and have been on 100% disability since 1996. In the last few years, I have felt worthless, since I have alot of side effects from years of taking the ealry meds. To sum it up, I am a man who would really want to have a job but physically cannot work due to severe physical limitations. I've been in a relationship for 9 yrs and we are at the point where we don't have much in common anymore, or so it seems to me. I know what needs to be done in that area. However, I know I'm minimally depressed(I say this because I still find joy in life) and i have friends who seem to care about me. However, I cannot seem to shake feelings of sadness that have me reminiscing back to my childhood and wishing to have a second chance to do it all over again.

But I digress, my main problem is that I've seem to have exhausted all my options with getting help paying for my meds. I only make about $1500.00 month and coming at the first of the year, I will have to pay nearly $1000.00 each month to cover expenses that Meidcare part D will not cover for me. Last year I was placed on a Social Security Subsidy because I was on a state medicaid program(which automatically qualified me) Now, I receive a letter telling me i no longer qualify, although my income is still the same as last year, because they had a chance to look at my income level and fins that I make "too much" money to be on this program. It is ridiculous because the only answer I get from them is "That's just our policy" I am so frustrated and now Im wondering if it is just time for me to stop taking my meds(even though I know this is not a good idea) but I cannot physically afford to do this on my own. Are there any programs out there to help me?

Response from Dr. Horwath

Many states have special programs to help those with HIV infection pay for their health care and medications. You should check into this. If you contact local health care organizations, the department of health, etc., you may alos find some resources that you did not know about.

Meanwhile, don't give up hope. Although you may not have a severe depression, You certainly do describe some symptoms. And the feeling of giving up on treatment is a sign of feeling helpless. You should consult someone about treatment for depression. It may not requirwe medication. Sometimes psychotherapy alone can be very helpful if done by someone who is well trained and experienced.

How long for the immune system to become affected by virus?
HIV/AIDS counseling/counseling referrals?

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