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May Need to Relocate?
Jan 28, 2012

Hello and thank you for considering my question: I have been HIV+ for nine years now. I am in my late 40's and live in NYC. With the exception of GI issues, caused by HIV at infection, my health is in excellent condition. I started HAART (and am continuing it) less than eight weeks after seroconversion (Truvada and Isentress); my CD4 count is typically in the 1,000 range; VL always negative. I am on SSD for Depression and Anxiety and am eligible for HASA assistance (although I have learned of many horror stories re HASA living units).

My question: Should, in your opinion, I consider a move to another, less expensive area of the country, as my SSD income barely covers basic rent and utilities (I do receive food stamp assistance) here in NYC.

Medicare and APIC (APIC serves as paying for my meds, and a private health insurance plan) is my current health insurance coverage. If I were to go on to Medicade, I would have a $500 spendown and pay $3.00 or so for brand name prescriptions- currently I am on seven different medications.

What would be the risks involving a move out of state, insurance wise? I understand that if I go off my HIV meds, there is the risk of heart disease? As I had worked thirty years prior to receiving, SSD benefits. I could live quite well in a less expensive area of the country (e.g., afford a gym membership; and eat better.)

Your advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, again.

Anxious in NYC

Response from Mr. Chambers

Medicare (excluding Medicare Advantage Plans) and SSDI benefits are the same wherever you locate in the US. Most states have AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAP), however, access and formularies vary dramatically, so you should research the state's program before moving.

Good luck



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