Next Steps: How to Find a Provider, Knowing Your Rights and More
September 22, 2017
1. HIV Treatment
It's official: It's recommended that everyone with HIV be on antiviral therapy. It's been estimated that on treatment, people living with HIV will have a normal lifespan. Treatment also slows the progression from HIV infection to AIDS.
2. Find an HIV Specialist
HIV is a relatively new, and complicated, medical condition. Look for an HIV specialist. The American Academy of HIV Medicine and the HIV Medicine Association each have a provider finder. Go to hivma.org and aahivm.org. In addition, your local AIDS service organization knows the HIV specialists in your area, and can help point you in the right direction.
3. Medical Care
Ideally, people with HIV should have a CD4+ T-cell count and HIV viral load measured every three to four months following suppression of HIV viral load with the use of therapy, although every six months and possibly yearly is generally accepted.
At diagnosis or soon thereafter, your clinic should check you for:
Just because you have health insurance doesn't mean that treatment is free. There are co-pays and other costs for medical care. (See the co-pay assistance chart in the Positively Aware HIV Drug Guide.) For those without insurance, go to healthcare.gov, or call (800) 318-2596.
6. HIV and the ADA
How are people with HIV protected by the nation's disability law? Read the section on HIV from the Americans with Disabilities Act at ada.gov/archive/hivqanda.txt.
7. HIV Anti-Discrimination Law
The National Center for HIV Law and Policy protects human rights and covers several areas of concern (such as employment, housing, and immigration). Its website includes a link to organizations, by state, that can provide legal information to people living with HIV. Write the center: 65 Broadway, Suite 832, New York, NY 10006. Call (212) 430-6733. Go to hivlawandpolicy.org.
This article was provided by Positively Aware. Visit Positively Aware's website to find out more about the publication.
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