Access to HIV+ / AIDs treatment

Discussion in 'The Healthy Penis' started by Tremaine, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. Tremaine

    Tremaine Active Member

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    Don't know if such a thread has been done before.

    I was talking with a friend yesterday, here in the UK, about access to treatment in different countries.

    Can others here impart their knowledge/experience about access to treatment & drugs for anyone who is HIV+ etc.

    Do you have to have medical insurance? Is there a limit to it? Are all of the drug therapies available or does it depend on the level of cover? Is it different in different parts of your country? Someone has suggested that in the USA it is different in different states. What about elsewhere?

    Here in the UK we have what is called the National Health Service and all residents who are so affected get free access to treatment - no matter what.

    Look forward to hearing from others on this.
     
  2. novice_btm

    Staff Member Moderator Gold Member

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    Excellent thread. I don't know the specifics, but in the States, it is apparently quite expensive. I'm hoping some of our members who are more knowledgeable on the subject weigh in on it.
     
  3. D_Sparroe Spongecaques

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    Some of the drugs are so expensive that not all patients get them immediately,also in some parts of the country it goes by postcode as to how/when the patient gets the drug.
     
  4. Tremaine

    Tremaine Active Member

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    I think you will find Tasha that this is absolutely NOT the case for HIV drugs.
    Others maybe - but not HIV.

    Anyhow, I was seeking details from other parts of the world, as I am in the UK and know a good deal about the situation here.

    But thank you for your input - much appreciated.
     
  5. FuzzyKen

    FuzzyKen New Member

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    In the United States one of the first problems is that profit making insurance companies are very quick to place caps on treatments and to deny treatments. Politically they do this by classifying anything they don't like as "experimental" What is classified as "experimental" varies from private corporation to private corporation. Very quickly in the States this throws HIV patients over to public assisted health care programs. The person may be able to work full or part time, but to qualify for the care to keep them alive they now end up being classified as disabled. A person who would test HIV sero-positive and applying for private coverage would either be denied access at all, would face insurance premium rates that would exceed their earning capability or would be thrown over to again public government funded health care options.

    One of the reasons we have had such problems over in the States is the denial of coverage based on pre-existing condidtions.

    Our adopted son is one issue. Several weeks ago he was diagnosed with squamous cell cancer of the tongue. Though the form he has is not as virulent as many it is a cancer classification and we have already been told that he will be excluded from many forms of private insurance because he is a "cancer survivor" if he in fact does survive.

    Here is the next problem. The quality of treatment of HIV sero positive individuals under public assistance health care programs is not totally unlike the attitudes and moral judgments of insurance companies.

    Some State programs offer all treatment modalities and options and others deny the most advanced treatments just like the private insurance carriers, classifying decade old proven treatments as "experimental".

    I personally helped a friend back in the mid 1990's move from the State of Missouri to California. He was sero-positive, and with falling T-cells, Missouri was at that time only offering AZT, when in California, the Protease/Reverse Transcriptease cocktails were common. That friend is now 47 years old and of all the gay men from his social circle,he is the only one left. The others who remained in Missouri have all died because the more advanced treatments were withheld too long in order to save that very conservative state money.

    Some states for example will very quickly allow the prescription of anabolic steroids to treat the wasting syndrome, and, others will deny these prescriptions until the individuals become so emaciated that they are in actual danger of loss of life. The conservative elements in those states use the excuse that the states are promoting "steroid abuse".

    My personal understanding, and from personal observations and people I know, it appears that both the UK and Canada flawed though they may be offer treatment that is far more comprehensive far earlier in the progression of the disease process.

    There also seems to be based on the general rules of operation, many ways in Canada and the UK in which a healthy individual can remain productive and not risk both health benefits and other benefits if they are able to work. In the United States, there are many individuals who can work full time that are forced on to full disability to have full State Assistance on their medical programs. If they work full time they, lose all or part of their health benefits. Again this is completely jurisdictional.

     
    #5 FuzzyKen, Jul 16, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  6. Tremaine

    Tremaine Active Member

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    Many thanks Fuzzy Ken - for that. Very useful and informative. You are indeed correct that here in the UK as soon as one is found to be positive it is generaly practive that the patient is given the option to start on the combination therapy.

    Here is a link to a resourse that is freely available to both doctors & patients to evaluate the interactions between the various drug combinations and any other medication that they may require.

    It is indeed the case that it is recognised that it is better for someone to remain economically active than to be put on the pile. This having been said there are many long term survivors of the now chronic syndrome who keep on going having been on various combinations for considerably more than 10 years, having supposed at the time of doagnosis to have had a very limited life expectancy. Many such people can keep busy but to not have the ability to hold down a full time job and all the stress that thay can bring, on top of coping with their long term condition.

    But whatever there is no limitation or restriction, that I am aware of, to anyone in the UK to the most appropriate drug regeime for them. And this is continually monitored by their consultant.

    It is most interesting to hear of the difference in treatment and survival in Missouri (does this count as being in the Bible belt?) compared to California.
    Home Page
     
  7. D_Sparroe Spongecaques

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    I think you find that in the part of the UK where i live and NURSE it is ABSOLUTELY the case.:wink:
     
  8. scottredleter

    scottredleter New Member

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    I have insurance, and every 3 months I have to come up with $800 out of pocket to purchase my drugs. When I can't afford that anymore, I just have to wait until I get good and sick (read death bed), expend any and all money that I may have left and then I can spend months filling out forms to try and get medicare and SS benefits. If I make it through that period of time still alive then my immune system will be so damaged that I will never really fully bounce back from it and I will sit and watch tv, too sick to do anything but think about what a hard time the insurance companies are having paying their shareholders.
     
  9. D_Sparroe Spongecaques

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    Oh gosh that's so sad.I read that with teary eyes.:hug:
     
  10. Tremaine

    Tremaine Active Member

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    In a so called developed & civilized society this is obscene treatment of the sick.
     
  11. brinzaulsschwul

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    If that is the case Tascha you should tell your HIV+ patients to attend an alternative sexual health clinic where the majority of HIV is treated in the HIV+ clinic. I know of no consultant in HIV and sexual health who would deprive anyone of the anti-retrovirals because to allow someone to become ill costs the NHS more in lost bed days in the High Dependency Units along with all the specialist nursing that is required.

    Brinz
    Sexual Health Adviser
     
  12. Tremaine

    Tremaine Active Member

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    I should like then to receive details of this, if you would.

    You can always sent them to me, privately if you so desire, this is a shocking surprise to me, and I have many years of experience in the UK in this regard.
     
  13. sxjTheFirst

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    An acquaintance of mine recently was raped by three guys. He was so scared that he might get HIV and still a student wasn't going to tell his parents. His coming out had already been a bad experience with them all but throwing him out of the house. He sought the help of some NGOs. Apparently they are staffed with bored and ignorant people who didn't know a thing about the treatments he asked for. The govt run health system too was a joke. Finally he called up a friend in the UK and somehow got the name of medicines and self-medicated.

    All of this I heard later on and I offered to pay for any remaining tests so far he hasn't got in touch and won't answer my calls. I am hoping he is all right he is only 21.

    If you can't afford costly private hospitals don't get sick in India.
     
  14. Tremaine

    Tremaine Active Member

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    I would go further and make the information public - to embarrass the said Health Authority into changing their policy in this regard. And if you feel that you job could be at risk - pass full details to me and I would be happy to wave the flag. Howabout reporting it to your local MP.
     
  15. D_Sparroe Spongecaques

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    I would but the guy i currently nurse isnt capable of anything other than breathing and is having his last days in his own home.

    Tasha

    As i said,the poor guy isnt capable of doing anything other than breathe
     
    #15 D_Sparroe Spongecaques, Jul 16, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  16. TomCat84

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    I've been HIV+ for over 5 years now....but I've been fortunate. I've always had really good insurance. My copay is $15 for a Dr's office visit (which I do every 3 months for blood work), and $20 for my Meds. I've actually gained about 25 lbs or so since I was diagnosed 5 years ago- and am healthier than a lot of HIV- guys I know. I've been VERY fortunate.
     
  17. TomCat84

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    There are lots of key things you need to do when you are HIV+, besides taking meds. Lay off alcohol and drugs (I never did drugs, occasionally smoke weed, and am known to have a few beers on occasion however), down your green tea and veggies (antioxidants), and exercise regularly.
     
  18. FuzzyKen

    FuzzyKen New Member

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    I have done more volunteer work with this one than I care to recount and in the many years that this scourge has been with us I have personally buried 54 friends, relatives and business associates from this condition.

    At 57 years old I am myself lucky to still be here and in good health. It is true, those who refrain from abusing an already stressed body and those who exercise and do things well seem to retain health, some individuals now classified as long term survivors have been alive and doing well with this retrovirus as part of their lives for nearly 30 years.

    This is a tough call and it is only hoped that someday we will have some leaders who will start to place a Country's most valuable resource (it's people) above corporate profits.
     
  19. SeeDickRun

    SeeDickRun New Member

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    I've had a great experience with a friend who's HIV+. He was diagnosed at age 25 after a gall bladder operation, when, according to the Dr., some blood splashed in an attendant's eye..... yeah.... sure... they wear full face shields. (Personally, I think during surgery they looked at him (6'2" 135 lbs) and thought he might be at risk... especially when I was his designated terminal decision maker.) This was the VA. He came up positive. Immediately started meds, at $2.00 per month, each prescription. (now it's $9.00 each/per month)
    He is healthier than ever now, 16 years later. His group health policy now pays for his Dr. visits and meds. Co-pay....$10.
    Not all insurance (especially group) will disclaim drugs regardless of pre-existing conditions.
     
  20. Tremaine

    Tremaine Active Member

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    This is all excellent stuff guys and gals.

    I am more than happy for this discussion to open up to wider things other than just the access to drug therapies.

    Bring it on.

    Could not agree more with TomCat than to look after your already stressed body.

    I have never understood those who expected that trials should be done to look into the interactions of Street drugs with their prescribed Meds, yes I have heard requests for this to be done.

    I would add that it is so important to keep a positive frame of mind, make plans for the future, keep as active as you can and to listen to your body. If you need a rest - then take it, but don't under any circumstances lie back and give in.

    I have seen too many friends of mine pass away, and sometimes all too quickly, because they believed it was a death sentence. The fastest was 4 weeks from diagnosis to death. Unlike FuzzyKen I don't know how many of my friends are no longer with us, I stopped counting - it was all too distressful. The most recent one, Peter, however was just before Christmas last year - and he had been living with AIDs for close to 20 years.

    Open up this thread folks.
     
    #20 Tremaine, Jul 16, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
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