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Immigration
May 27, 2013

My gay partner and me are two HIV+ refugees under UN protection and we wanna choose our country. I want to know among USA and Canada which one is better overally and in the following topics: 1- Free medicine 2- Social support 3- Working and studying

Response from Mr. Chambers

Regarding "free medicine," Canada has a national health system which covers most people. The US is slowly moving to a form of universal , but it is still based on private insurance companies providing health insurance which is really the key to access to healthcare. You will hear good and bad about each. Try to talk to people who are under both systems. There are AIDS Service Organizations in both countries which may be able to help.

For access to medications alone, all states in the US have ADAP (AIDS Drug Assistance Program)programs which use federal money (plus state money in some states) to provide access to AIDS medications. Although funded by federal dollars, the programs are administered by the states and their range and accessibility vary greatly by state. Some have waiting lists; others accept all eligible with long forumlaries of AIDS medications plus many others. Again, explore the ADAP programs in the states you are considering.

For social support, working, and studying, that will depend on where within the countries you settle and what fields you intend to pursue. I'm afraid I can't give you much guidance there other than to recommend you use the internet resources and talk to individuals and organizations in various areas.

Good luck and welcome to North America, whichever you choose.

Jacques



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