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What's next for me?
Jan 20, 2004

I am 18 yrs HIV+, undetectable with a CD4 over 500. I've taken every drug, drug combo you can imagine. My doctor sent me to Indy to join a drug study 3 yrs ago. Everything was great until I lost my job due to layoff. I've also lost my insurance and can't afford Cobra. Indy dropped me from the new drug study because I wasn't able to pay for the prescription drugs that were to be taken with the drug study drug. For the first time I'm not taking any meds, unemployed, uninsured and told by the local HIV office they can't help until my counts drop below 200. How long will that take? What's next for me?

Response from Ms. Breuer

Have you talked with your pharmacist about access to your state's ADAP (AIDS Drug Assistance) program? It's a federal program administered at the state level to help people whose income does not allow them to buy the meds to have access to prescribed meds. First things first: let's see about getting you back on therapy so you can continue your great run. Does your doc have no ideas about how to connect with resources for the meds? You should not have to wait for your condition to worsen before you're eligible for help from a "local HIV office" (was that a county office, or an AIDS service organization?). If you haven't made contact with your state's largest AIDS service organization, this is the time to do it. Ask to speak with the director of treatment advocates (they may have a different title) and ask about how others in your situation get access to meds.

The final resource is the manufacturers themselves. They have compassionate use programs and sometimes will provide meds directly to someone who needs them but cannot buy them. Please write again if you try all this and do not get satisfaction.



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