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Moving to San Francisco
Apr 25, 2014

Hi, I'm from Manila, Philippines. I am a newly diagnosed of HIV and I'm moving to California soon. I just wanted to know if how the treatment would be in USA? Is it free also and supported by Global Fund like here in our country? I still have high cd4 level that's why my doctor didn't recommend to undergo treatment yet. I'm just asking if the treatment in USA is free as well? I am worried about how it will cost if I started treatment. Thanks.

Response from Mr. Chambers

Medical care including prescription medications are not free in the US, but there are programs that will help pay most or all of the costs.

Nationally, everyone can buy health insurance, and you will be able to also since you will be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period when you move here.

In addition, the federal government funds several programs for people dealing with HIV. The federal government gives the funds to the states so each state's programs may vary slightly.

In California there is a broad AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) that pays for over 150 medications that people with HIV frequently encounter. To be eligible for this, your income should be less than $50,000 per year. If you have insurance, the ADAP program will pay what the insurance does not pay for as long as the medication is on the ADAP formulary.

Also, the State Office of AIDS has a program called HIPP (Health Insurance Premium Payment). If you are on ADAP, the HIPP program will pay your health insurance premiums.

I do recommend that once you get here, you connect with one of the HIV/AIDS Service Organizations. A list can be found on this site. They will be able to guide you to these and other programs available to you.

Good luck and welcome to the US. Jacques



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