Health Care??? What Happened?

This year I was looking forward to changes with the new president.

I realize it is a choice to get on an antiviral therapy and continue to strive to reach an undetectable viral load. Today I went to fill my prescription - $3209.00 deductible. That is quite a bump up from the usual co-pay.

What a surprise after 10 years of meds and adherence to stay healthy. All the while educating not only myself but my community on the importance in knowing your status. I cannot help to notice the error in Health reform. This will set us back in the fight against HIV.

However, it’s closer than that for me. To me. I don't have Insurance right now. I was told I was accepted to receive Medicaid insurance instead of the affordable care plan I was currently paying for. I am really worried about what will happen after being off my meds for a while. Without insurance I now lose access to knowing my labs, mental health services, therapy and doctors that I rely on to function without too many interruptions physically or mentally. With proper self-care a person is expected to live a full life.

I live in a world same as yours. I don’t really know I have HIV unless Stigma shows up or meds are discontinued.

This is so strange to know without these meds I can become compromised in the fact I can lose my undetectable status thus being able to transmit the virus. The chances of passing HIV to my sex partner is Zero. Undetectable viral load. I practice safer sex, this still is a game changer. I am living healthy with minimal side effects at this time.

I struggle with other mental health issues daily.

I don’t mind the change that has to be done to provide a better health care system for those of us living with chronic illnesses.

Today and each of the last 27 days I almost have the overwhelming sensation I could potentially become ill.

When I learned of my status and began immediately on the medication, within my first month I was undetectable and have stayed that way since.

I am not sure what is next for myself and the thousand others affected by the health care reform; I do know? I have adjusted my diet to help where it can. I am exercising and reminding myself I can be proactive while figuring this out.

It all sucks. It is a another learning experience I will be able to take to others in the event I figure out the way to get meds. My way of finding a silver lining in every situation I am confronted with.

I stay positive now. I was so scared of what could be. I am letting the fear be a moment of passing feelings and sticking to the facts.

I and WE will not accept this. I understand choice to decide to be on the medication. What am I supposed to do if I become resistant to the drugs by changing or losing insurance every month? Ugh just saying this struggle is so real. Stay Beautiful and poke the bear when necessary.

I am one voice that matters.



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Jennifer Johnsen, MD, MPH, Managing Editor

Pain is common in people living with HIV. Understand common types of pain, what to do if you have pain, and ways to manage or treat pain.

Our community advisory board is composed of a group of women living with HIV who provide us with their guidance as we develop and offer our programming.

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