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Country Change
Mar 6, 2006

I am a Brazilian citizen, living in Brazil and working for an American multinational Enterprise. I am also HIV+ asymptomatic, what means, I havent started the medication. I was informed that I will be transferred to the US (Chicago City) in the next August (for a 2-years period) and I am pretty concerned about it. My CD4 cells are about 400 and in sooner or later I will start with HAART. How can I find a doctor, make the laboratory tests, buy medicine (in Brazil the drugs are free)? Is the treatment and monitoring in the US expensive? Please help me out! Give-me more information because I am desperate!

Response from Ms. Breuer

If you are working for a multinational, the company most likely offers at least one health insurance plan, perhaps several. As a Brazilian citizen, you have enjoyed benefits from your country that are managed differently here, but not necessarily worse.

Chicago has several good AIDS service organizations with benefits counselors who could assist you through the process. Or you could get help from an independent benefits counselor. One I can recommend is Jacques Chambers at www.helpwithbenefits.com.

In the US, people have to navigate the benefits options very much on their own. That's why the benefits counselors exist. I don't think you have much to worry about as far as health insurance and prescriptions, so please BREATHE and contact Jacques or a Chicago-based AIDS service organization. Treatment and monitoring in the US will be covered by a decent health insurance plan, and so will the medications.

In the U.S., your privacy is protected by law. You will not have to tell your employer about your diagnosis.

Please write again if you have further questions.

Nancy



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