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Living with HIV
Jan 28, 2013

Whats is one of the best cities in the US to live inf you are HIV positive waiting on a disability detrmination, currently on meds but dont have medical insurance or any other social services

Response from Mr. Vergel

Great question. My answer is highly biased, though. I have traveled a lot in the past 20 years lecturing and meeting poz people around the country, so I have my opinions.

The answer to your question needs to take into account what kind of preferences you have. Since you will be on disability, you may want to live in warmer climates where you can be outside a lot and somewhere with low cost of living where you can still develop your passions. A good HIV+ community and social assistance are also great to have.

I like Fort Lauderdale- Wilton Manors. The weather is great, it provides low stress living, has good doctors, its cost of living is really cheap, there is a huge HIV+ community and you can have fun and take classes/volunteer. The bad things are: no formal ADAP but decent public assistance for meds, it may be too slow paced for some, and the summers can be hot (although the beaches are amazing and can cool you off). You can contact the folks from this support group since most of them are on disability and live there:Fort Lauderdale HIV+ Gay Discussion Group

Houston is my second choice (I am biased on this one since that is where I live). Hot summers but great winters. Great public assistance via HACS and Legacy clinics. Cheap cost of living and moderately strong HIV+ community. Great art and food if you like that also. By the way, Austin is also great if you prefer a smaller city with good cost of living and assistance. I am not sure how good the HIV+ community is there, though. The best support group there is: Bering Support Network

I love San Diego the most, but its cost of living can be a real problem for someone on disability. No weather or geography is best! Good public assistance and clinics, and moderately organized HIV+ community.

Palm Springs is another sleepy place that has a lot of HIV+ people and some decent public assistance. It has a moderately low cost of living for California. But summers are super hot and it can be too slow for some. I love it in winter but tend to get bored quickly there. The HIV+ community there is moderately well organized.

Some of my friends like Atlanta. But I am not sure about its services. The cost of living is low and there is plenty to do.

I hope this helps. I would not make a decision until your disability is approved (they reject most applications at least once).

By the way, you can contact AIDS Service Organizations in most cities using this directory:United States HIV/AIDS Organizations

Good luck

Nelson



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