How Do I Find a Health Care Provider?
Health care providers are an essential part of successful HIV treatment. They prescribe HIV medicines and order tests to monitor their patients’ health. People with HIV work with their health care providers to select an HIV regimen that works best for their needs.
Explore the resources below to get help finding a health care provider:
- State HIV/AIDS Hotlines, from HRSA
If you need help finding a health care provider or HIV/AIDS-related services in your area, call your state’s HIV/AIDS hotline. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) maintains a list of HIV/AIDS hotlines for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
- Find Ryan White HIV/AIDS Medical Care Providers, from HRSA
The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program provides HIV treatment services to people with HIV who have no health insurance or are underinsured. Use this search tool from HRSA to find medical providers in your area that participate in the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. You can also find federally funded health centers through HRSA’s mobile apps.
- HIV Testing Sites and Care Services Locator, from HIV.gov
This search tool from HIV.gov can help you locate services in your area, including HIV testing centers, mental health services, medical centers participating in the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program, housing assistance programs, and substance abuse treatment facilities.
Where Can I Get Help Paying for My HIV Medicines?
People with HIV take a combination of HIV medicines every day. The medicines keep HIV from multiplying in the body, but they can’t cure HIV. To stay healthy, people with HIV must take HIV medicines daily throughout their lives.
There are several resources that can help people with HIV get the medicines they need:
- ADAP Directory, from the ADAP Advocacy Association
AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs) make HIV medicines and other services available to people who are living with HIV and do not have sufficient health insurance or need financial assistance. The ADAP Directory is an online resource that includes current ADAP-related information from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories.
- NASTAD Membership Directory
Use the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors’ (NASTAD) directory to find health care specialists involved with ADAPs in your state.
- Social Security for People Living with HIV/AIDS, from the Social Security Administration
People with HIV who can’t work may qualify for disability benefits. This fact sheet explains who qualifies for those benefits and how to file for them.
- Drug Companies
Some companies that make HIV medicines also have drug assistance programs. To find the contact information for the manufacturer of an HIV medicine, search for the drug in the AIDS_info_ Drug Database and then scroll down the drug fact sheet to the section titled "Manufacturer Information."
Where Can I Find Housing Assistance?
A stable living situation makes it easier for people with HIV to keep appointments with their health care provider and stick to an HIV regimen.
- HIV/AIDS Housing, from HUD
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) manages the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program, which is designed to provide housing assistance to people living with HIV/AIDS and their families. On HUD’s website, you can find housing resources for renters and homeowners, as well as for those without homes. You can also use the HUD Resource Locator to search for affordable housing near you.
How Do I Get Help With Mental Health Issues?
Anyone can have problems with mental health, but people with HIV are more likely to experience conditions like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and insomnia than people without HIV. Read the AIDS_info_ HIV and Mental Health fact sheet for more information.
Below are some places to find mental health treatment services:
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
SAMSHA is a U.S. government agency that offers resources for those looking for help with mental health problems or for substance abuse or addiction. SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator allows people to confidentially search for mental health and substance abuse or addiction treatment facilities anywhere in the United States. SAMHSA also operates a 24-hour National Helpline for people looking for information and treatment referrals related to mental health and substance abuse disorders, and a 24-hour Suicide Prevention Lifeline that provides support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.
- Help for Mental Illnesses, from NIMH
As part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) funds research on ways to prevent and treat mental disorders. Their website includes a resources page to find health care providers and treatment services, locate clinical trials, and learn more about mental health.
How Can AIDSinfo Help?
If you have questions about HIV treatment or need help finding an HIV/AIDS-related clinical trial, AIDS_info_ health information specialists can assist you. English- and Spanish-speaking health information specialists are available. Contact AIDS_info_ by phone (1-800-448-0440) or email (ContactUs@aidsinfo.nih.gov) for confidential assistance. For more information, visit the AIDS_info_ Contact Us page.
[Note from TheBody: This article was originally published by AIDSinfo on Jan. 3, 2019.]