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TonyBakerOK
New User

Reged: 08/05/10
Posts: 5
Best place to live in USA with HIV?
      #251539 - 08/05/10 08:28 PM

Hello.

I have been positive since 2005, and have lived in Tennessee, Texas, California and Currently Oklahoma.

It seems like every state is different when it comes to HIV services and Ryan White stuff.

I just moved HOME to Oklahoma and I am miserable, as the services here are BAD!

Although I am on ssdi, and only receive 741 a month, I receive less services, than is I was NOT disabled, made more money and on Ryan White medical.. In other places , services are for HIV poz, or AIDS, doesn't matter your insurance. BUT here they seem to think Ryan White is 100% medical, therefore, you cannot access ANY RW funds in you are already on medicare/medicaid as I am..

Well some things YES< but others are for housing, quality of life, etc etc.. BUT anyway, I would be peeing against the wind if I fought it here, as Oklahoma is well, Oklahoma!

My question to you all is: What state, or City in the US, is the best for a Gay , hiv positive , person , with a Low income (741 a month) where HIV services arent 30 years of aiting lists, and where I am accepted?

I should say that LUCKILY, I should be getting a section 8 voucher SOON, as there is a state wide housing agency here, that the wait list was open, and gives a preference to me because I am disabled. Supposedly I should have a voucher in a couple months. AND since I live in the Service area of the agency, When I get my Voucher, I can choose to PORT it to any place in the USA that has section 8, REGARDLESS if they are giving vouchers or not.. SO I will have the opportunity to move ANYWHERE and pay the same amount (30% of adjusted gross, which with all said for me, will be less than $100 a month!!)

Where should I go? Wheres the best Place to live, IN YOUR OPINIONS?

I truly appreciate your help because I am about at my whitts end, because I just want to live someone where where Im not made to feel I am an alien, and where someone like me, can get the things that ORIGINALLY the Aids Service agency's where started for (now they are basically DHS offices)

Thanks again!!

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TonyBakerOK
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Reged: 08/05/10
Posts: 5
Re: Best place to live in USA with HIV? new
      #251556 - 08/06/10 10:21 PM

come on.. 23 people have looked, and nobody responded.. chances are, all or most of the ones that looked are positive.. so why not tell about how it is where you live? Not to ask for so much here, but could some people spare a minute or two and help me out...

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johnpaul10028
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Reged: 07/11/10
Posts: 3
Re: Best place to live in USA with HIV? new
      #251570 - 08/09/10 07:05 AM

Howdy. Palm Springs has Desert Aids Project but you have to be living there 90 days.

What has been your experience with Texas and California?

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TonyBakerOK
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Reged: 08/05/10
Posts: 5
Re: Best place to live in USA with HIV? new
      #251571 - 08/09/10 10:21 AM

Thanks for the response!

Services in Texas were, OK, I am reluctant to return because of personal traumas that happened to me there, BUT I am considering it.. specifically Galveston, because its relatively lower cost to live there, and its an island with a beach, AND close enough to Houston that I can go there for a good doctor (if need be).


California, well, first off I didn't really like the atmosphere, basically Im not a Californian.. BUT some services were great, others were not so much! For instance, Mental health was great!!! I was able to get Psychologist and psychiatrist, that were funded by Ryan white, and they were both TOP NOTCH! Housing had a forever waiting list! But Dental was top notch (Ryan White).. I guess really CA was OK except housing, as far as Ryan White Services, BUT I just didn't like it, or fit in there, for some reason! Very Pretentious I guess!

All in all, I really don't need alot of services, BUT I do need to be in a place that I feel halfway welcome, and in an environment that Im not so depressed that I can actually leave my house and do stuff!

Anyone have any experience with Galveston, and Houston?

Thanks

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johnpaul10028
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Reged: 07/11/10
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Re: Best place to live in USA with HIV? new
      #251574 - 08/09/10 04:20 PM

I totally understand the part about the traumatic memories. My parents want me to "move home" and I just about 10 minutes ago woke up from a nap in heaving sobs having nightmares. I can get the not fitting in vibe about CA. I get that from anywhere but LA. I would love to live in SF if I could afford it, and if I did, I am not sure I would even try to make friends with anyone who lived in the Castro or Noe Valley. I'd go protect myself with granola lezbeans in Berkley or wherever the good ones are. Heck, at this point I'd rather get legally married to a lesbian or really cool straight man than to a gay man or about half of my straight girlfriends. But that was *humor* mostly, and trauma a little bit too. The bohemian parts of LA were great for me. Palm Springs is wonderful if you connect with the elderly and the people who've lived there forever. If you avoid the party bois who lost their tech jobs in the Bay Area but not their hunger for crystal meth, Palm Springs is great in my opinion.

As for Galvestion and Houston... Houston is amazingly, surprisingly friendly. Any preconceived notions anyone has about Houston queens is refreshingly mostly unfounded. Everyone says so who moves there, and it has been my experience that everyone, even the ones who just look stuck up will be sweet and even kind to you, and not rip you to shreds when your back is turned. There is that element in EVERY city, but Houston is very very laid back. Note that there are a lot of former NOLA residents in Houston, and a lot of UT Austin grads in Houston, so that has to account for some of the laid back non-attitude. Galveston can be a party town, and except for spring break week, is totally gay friendly. Spring Break will bring your small town heteros (and small town closet cases) but they are rarely a problem, as far as thousands of young drunk kids go. More loud and obnoxious than anything, so have your buddy in Houston to stay with spring break week or just don't go outdoors for a week -- seriously.

Houston has three major problems -- smog, traffic, and humidity. The air burns my sinuses and eyes or I'd move there. If you do live there or stay there, the traffic issue is OK if you live or stay in Montrose or between downtown and the Galleria. If you are in the suburbs, getting to the bars and clinics and lifestyle are hell. In the summer, hope you look good in a wifebeater or hope you like being in the swimming pool.

Galveston presents a couple other issues. First, it just got wiped off the map by a hurricane, again. If you cannot afford renters insurance and a car that can get you to a friend's place inland then that can be a dangerous situation, and you could lose all your stuff in a second. Second, the Gulf is kind of filthy for my tastes. I don't want to knock Gtown but I don't like the smog from the oil refineries and the transient atmosphere and the nasty water in the Gulf. It truly is a small town, but gay friendly.

If New Mexico is OK, I'd throw my hat in for Albuquerque / Santa Fe. Right now Arizona is dying economically, but that makes Phoenix very very cheap, and that is one incredibly gay town, so is Tucscon. Kind of boring but you will not have to hide yourself.

I hope these help.

I think if you are on SSDI you can get Medicare and with low income, Medicaid. I would call the HIV clinic in Houston or if they have one in Galveston. The one in Houston would almost certainly be in Montrose.

New Orleans is another place where you might be able to live cheap. That city has had issues since it began and it may very well be a dying city over the next century, but there are definitely services for the poor and for HIV.

It is trite to say Hang In There. Sometimes you wonder why bother? I wonder that almost every day. I personally believe in a God, and a God who is good and wants to turn the tough things around for me. Some days it's hard to get out of the bed. I don't have it as hard as you do financially -- yet. I have to believe that there is a purpose to this suffering and poverty. I have to believe that God is not found in the mega churches and the homes of senators and kings. I have to believe there is a God, that God is good, and that God is found in the sewers and slums and tenements and under the bridges and in the dumpsters, trying God's hardest to show just a glimmer of love and hope to the sickest. I have to believe that, and I have to believe that I can do some good, so I must somehow get out of bed today. Case in point -- I felt moved to write to you. So maybe there is a God and maybe God used you to give me a little bit of hope and strength and to let you know that you're not alone forever even if you are alone today. If it doesn't get any better then there's two of us out there who are in the ditch so at least we're not alone, ok?

But if you can deal with smog in california, you probably can deal with Houston, and it's generally a nice town. It's so hot that everyone has swimming pools and it is always wise to make friends with someone who has a pool.

I hope this helps. Now I feel like having a good cry.

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TonyBakerOK
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Reged: 08/05/10
Posts: 5
Re: Best place to live in USA with HIV? new
      #251575 - 08/09/10 10:18 PM

Thanks so much for the response!

I do have Medicare, and Medicaid, I am Dual Eligible, and I can get a Private HIV doc, and don't have to go through the Ryan White Clinics, .. As far as Galveston.. WELL... I havent been there, I will go visit a few times before I decide.. BUT I like the gulf atmosphere.. I like the small town Island atmosphere, IF its friendly to me and my issues! I, for some reason feel less restricted, or confined living by the ocean,, and I love to be able to drive on the beach! I do have a car, and should be able to afford renters insurance!

I thought about NOLO but I think its kind of too big, and not my speed??

Who knows, Maybe I should just stay here.. I dont know.. I do know that I am not happy here.. and need to find a place where I feel welcome... Course that may be something I can work on internally also...

Anyway thanks for the response, it really helped alot!!

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1tommystate
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Reged: 07/14/10
Posts: 8
Re: Best place to live in USA with HIV? new
      #251585 - 08/10/10 02:55 PM

hi I live in ohio and my doctor & therpist.. are good and there is low income housing here and low income organizations.. that help hiv pos people hope this helps u .. must tell u that i am new to hiv. just tested pos in nov 2009 so maybe i dont know much but hope this helps ..

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TonyBakerOK
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Reged: 08/05/10
Posts: 5
Re: Best place to live in USA with HIV? new
      #251588 - 08/10/10 04:36 PM

Thank you Tommy.. It does help.. I will look into it!! THank you!!!

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ausguy
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Reged: 11/01/09
Posts: 9
Re: Best place to live in USA with HIV? new
      #251603 - 08/12/10 11:24 PM

Have you considered Ft. Lauderdale? I cannot address support network as I still work and have insurance. In fact I am re-locating to the area from Texas because of the very large gay community. I also like the close proximity to specialists such as Dr. Pierone up in Vero Beach. All types in FTL and the folks I have met are very nice. The negative stereotypes can be found anywhere.

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alive2
Regular

Reged: 03/08/07
Posts: 342
Re: Best place to live in USA with HIV? new
      #252032 - 09/10/10 01:38 PM

there isnt any place in the world that i consider having hiv/aids a good place to be, id rather not have it at all, but considering all things aside in new york state, housing, nutrition,medicine, management care and things of this sort are decent and 760 a month on ssi isnt to bad i guess considering what your explaining, i may be wrong but im content with what i have versus what i dont.
i used to complain about my shoes untill i met a man with no feet.take care

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MattCope
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Reged: 03/27/11
Posts: 1
Loc: United States
Re: Best place to live in USA with HIV? new
      #254991 - 03/27/11 02:47 AM

I have lived in three places since my diagnosis in 1999. Orlando,Florida, Pittsburgh, Pa and Wilmington NC.

Orlando, while having a great gay community, was not, and still is not (according to friends who still live there) able to deal with HIV and care. In 1999 they were not able to, and as I understand, the law has not changed, run any kind of HIV test in an emergency setting. They would however tell you that you are going to die in three months and that you also have lymphoma (because the only test that they can run will give a false lymphoma diagnosis in the presence of HIV)...... at least that is what happened to me. Shortly thereafter, thinking I was dying, I packed up and moved to Pittsburgh, Pa.

The health care and funding there was top notch. The area is not as gay friendly as Florida but still very festive. Their ASO was one of the first and defining ASOs in the country. Rents are dirt cheap in a lot of areas, but those are not always the best areas to live in, but you can get lucky. Most areas are still more reasonable than anywhere I have lived. If you can stand the brutal winters, the annoying sports fans...and they are everywhere.... and the proliferation of Drugs... and again it is everywhere.... Pittsburgh is a decent place.

In the last year I moved to Wilmington, NC. NO ASO!!! three in the state, and no one servicing the area. People are TERRIFIED of Positive people and are ostracized sometimes publicly. You can be denied housing and Jobs due to the archaic laws here (being gay is classified as "living an unclean life" and is not covered by anti-discrimination laws as it is considered part of the "grooming standards" part of law). HIV is reportable and kept track of by the health department and some legislators are trying to get it classified the same as sexual predators, where you would have to notify your neighbors. Housing is absolutely unaffordable. I am on disability myself and cannot find anything within 20 miles of the main city that could even be considered in my budget. Social service is lacking here. at 931 a month I qualify for a whopping 16 dollars in assistance and am not eligible for Medicaid (dental, vision). Jobs are non existant. and I am now not able to move anywhere else.

If it was not for the fact that I have ended up in the hospital with pneumonia due to the weather, and my gas bills in winter were more than they were at Auschwitz, and my mothers health is failing... I would have stayed in Pennsylvania.

--------------------
Drag Queens are flammable. really.

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marisa13
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Reged: 11/23/12
Posts: 1
Re: Best place to live in USA with HIV? new
      #269191 - 11/23/12 10:11 PM

hi im new to this board and i have a son who is been diagnosed with HIV and also is mentally ill. we live in fl. he used to live in San Antonio Texas and the services and places for him were exceptional. since he has been back home here every thing has gone to blip blip blip for him. fl. is not a place to come if you want any type of services . stay away . fl. is a retire state a state that is only interested in generating income and the elderly do that when they come here to retire. we cant find much help for him and i am now searching the web and it is breaking my heart as to where he can go away from his family to get the help he needs. that's how i found this board. im only writing cause i saw someone say fl. please research well before you come here. we may have good doctors in vero beach. i live in that small area and the other services stink.

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Aubie
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Reged: 12/03/12
Posts: 1
Re: Best place to live in USA with HIV? new
      #269401 - 12/03/12 05:55 PM

Hi there, I just wanted to comment on your quest for the best state to live in if you are +. Well, I am currently living in Alabama where I was born and raised and must say how very grateful I am for being able to be close to family and a support system. I just celebrated my 25th anniversary of living with HIV on the 3rd of November. I was diagnosed during a time when it was truly a death sentence and was give 6-18 months to live. Doctors don't know everything.....obviously. Lol. Just a few months after my diagnoses AZT was approved by the FDA. I jumped on it and have been able to stay a step ahead of the disease the whole 25 years. I was living in Milwaukee, WI at the time. I moved back home to Alabama and with the exception of calling myself moving to Florida for six months I have remained here. I have a beautiful apartment in a complex that is very well maintained and it is affordable. My Medicaid pays my Medicare premium so that saves me a $100 a month. Anyway, I digress...lol. I have the best Doctor a person could ever hope for. He is about 50 miles to my east and I love him with all my heart. He has taken such good care of me and my partner until he passed away of bone cancer almost 7years ago now. Alabama is NOT I repeat NOT a gay friendly state by any stretch of the imagination. However, I have had excellent benefits and not one problem with management or other residents giving me a hard time because of my sexuality. Of course management knows of my situation and this complex is not for just + people. To answer you question Alabama would not be conducive to what you are looking for as far as socializing and being open and free about you sexual preference. I do wish I could access free dental through Ryan White. I think they do offer that at the 1917 clinic in Birmingham. I see mt dentist every 3 months and he has been gracious enough to bill me and allows me to make payments. The people here that I have dealt with are pretty awesome. Then again I am an Alabamaian. Hope that helps in some way.

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dbmathews
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Reged: 07/06/05
Posts: 2
Loc: Salem, Oregon
Re: Best place to live in USA with HIV? new
      #270069 - 01/09/13 09:22 PM

In Oregon, we have the CAREAssist Program thru the Oregon Health Authority (state agency). It does a wonderful job and I am thankful for it.

I did a bit of checking around a while back, wondering about benefits in other states. I found I was doing very well, albeit the rainy Pacific Northwest makes me a little nuts at times.

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RevAnn
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Reged: 08/17/06
Posts: 245
Loc: fort myers, florida
Re: Best place to live in USA with HIV? new
      #270365 - 01/26/13 04:15 PM

I have lived in MA, Pittsburgh PA and now in Branson, MO

Pittsburghs ASO is AWESOME, they really are all about us. If you need a Doc, PACT has the best. Can's speak to the gayness of it, but never heard any of my friends complain about it.

MA, what can I say. If you live in the North East you are lucky.

Missouri....not so much. I have a get doc hear (I am lucky I hear horror stories about docs here) The ASO in this area is small, they try but there is a lot they are not able to do. This is NOT a gay friendly area!

No matter where you go, there are pro's and con's, just have to find the best for you.

--------------------
Namu-Myoho-Renge-Kyo

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