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HIV, Hepatitis C and You

A Guide for Coinfected People

December 2011

Getting Help and Support

Paying for Your Hep C Treatment

Like HIV treatment, hep C treatment can be extremely expensive. Fortunately, most health insurance programs will cover hep C meds and other medical costs. But what if you don't have insurance?

  • Federal and state programs, including AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs), may be able to help. Talk with your case manager or health care provider about how to find out.
  • If you're on Medicare or Medicaid, they may be able to help cover your treatment costs as well.
  • The companies that make and sell hep C meds often have special assistance programs for low-income people. Your case manager or health care provider should be able to help you apply.
  • Other HIV and hepatitis service organizations may be able to lend a hand -- not only with your treatment, but with other parts of your mental and physical health. Be sure to talk to your case manager or health care provider about finding support, or visit TheBody.com on the Internet to find a service organization near you.


Be Safe!

There are a couple of important things to remember when it comes to making sure you don't transmit hep C to another person:

  • Keep those needles clean.
    Dirty injection drug equipment is still the main way that hep C is passed from person to person. So if you inject drugs, don't share your works -- needles, cotton, cooker, water, any of it. Or at least make sure your equipment has been completely, thoroughly sterilized before somebody else uses it.
  • Be as safe as possible during sex.
    Recent studies have shown that hep C can be transmitted through sex, especially unprotected anal sex between HIV-positive men who have sex with men. Transmission is most likely to occur when your blood comes into contact with theirs. So if you're a man or a woman and you're thinking of having unprotected anal sex, rough sex or fisting with someone of unknown hep C status, please reconsider. Condoms are good things!


Taking It Day by Day

Remember: You are not alone! Millions of Americans are living with hep C, and hundreds of thousands of them are estimated to have HIV as well.

Seek out your local HIV organization or clinic, and talk to the people there about how you can connect with other people in the same boat as you. Many organizations host support groups for people with HIV and hep C.

You can also look online at TheBody.com, where our bulletin boards, blogs, personal stories and organization listings can bring you closer to other people living with HIV/hep C coinfection.

TheBody.com is also home to a huge library of articles that can provide you with more information about living, and thriving, with HIV and hep C. We even have an online expert in our "Ask the Experts" forums who's available to answer your questions about HIV/hepatitis coinfection!


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Copyright © 2011 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.




  
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