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treatment for foreigners in the US
Jul 24, 2008

dear dr robert , I have just moved to new york from the uk with my partner . He works for an american company and has a work visa .I am tagged on to his visa for as long as he will stay in the us . I also get the same health care benefits as him as his partner . These benefits do not cover terminal illnesses such as cancer and hiv . I have been diagnosed hiv positive for one year now and was recieving care from bloombury clinic in london . My cd4 count is 350 and i take blood tests every 3 months . I intend to continue recieving treatment in the uk as it is free and i could not afford private treatment in the us . The only problem with that is that it would be difficult to go back to the uk every 3 months . My question to you is are there any clinics in the us that can monitor my cd4 count and viral load up until the time when i need to go back to the uk and recieve medication . I hope you can advice me in this matter yours thankfully richard

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Richard,

It is morally reprehensible and discriminating for a company health plan that provides partner benefits to specifically exclude "terminal illnesses such as cancer and HIV." This should be challenged in court. Hopefully once Obama becomes president and the U.S. health care system is revised, many of these discriminatory measures, such as excluding those with "preexisting conditions" and redlining certain expensive illnesses, such as HIV, will be eliminated. One wonders if your partner's plan excludes other conditions that could cause death, such as diabetes or asthma?!?

To specifically answer your question, yes, any clinic, medical facility or HIV specialist physician could arrange to monitor your CD4 counts and viral load. Perhaps your HIV specialist at the Bloombury Clinic knows an HIV specialist in New York and could work cooperatively with that doctor. Because of the shameful exclusion on your partner's health plan, you may have to pay for these tests out of pocket, at least until Obama becomes President Obama and can begin undoing the incredible damage caused by eight years of the Rodeo Clown and the Dark Lord of Halliburton.

Be well.

Dr. Bob



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