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Military Veterans

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Wolfhound:
Hello Military Vets,

    I would like to hear from and know how the military veterans are dealing with and navigating the Veteran's Administration Medical System. How are your doctor's treating you? Are they offering the lastest in medication or ARV therapy? Did your doctor suggest a drug resistance test? ( genotypic and phenotypic);  I'm healthy positive and not on meds, but plan to talk to my doctor about when and what type of drug therapy I should start. If there are any doctors and civilians working with the VA your view point would be much appreciated.

Wolfhound

paradise:
hey wolf,

where are you located? or you could go to united states department of veterans affairs intranet,the informations you are looking for should be there, then just call your local va hospital to inquire about the services.                            good luck!

J.R.E.:
Hello Wolf,

Can't really give you much info. I am a veteran, but have not utilized the services of the VA yet.  Actually, I used the services of the VA, only once, and that was when I was discharged from the service in 1973.  I am still employed and have insurance through work. Needing the assistance of the VA,is also something that I have to consider somewhere down the road, should I loose healthcare coverage, because I am unable to work.


Have you checked out the VA WebSite yet? I had downloaded some forms from there, about two years ago.

http://www.va.gov/


http://www.va.gov/healtheligibility/application/


https://www.1010ez.med.va.gov/sec/vha/1010ez/



Take care----Ray

lonewolf:
I am planning on going to the VA office next week to see if I now qualify for medical benifits.   Tried a year or so ago, and adjusted income was too high.     Still working, not on HIV meds, but on other for high blood pressure.   So have thought that maybe qualifying this year would drastically lower my  prescription costs anyway.    Have insurance through work,  but co pay is abour 25.00 per perscription.  So getting prescriptions through VA would be great.     As far as HIV specialists,   planning on continuing to go to my present doctor as my existing insurance is good for that.       So will keep you posted.   
Also interested if anyone as any information concerning VA treatment with HIV patients.

Ulong:
I used the VA for several years. Not much fun. I now use Tricare, even though it's more expensive. I had several issues with the VA. First, I like to participate in my own care, and they weren't on board with that. When I disagreed with a proposed drug regimen you'd of thought I'd suggested clubbing baby seals in the waiting room. The time I spent in routine visits or getting a drug refill was incredible. And being referred to another clinic outside the ID was an exercise in long waits for substandard care. I could go on and on, but I think the fact that I pay for Tricare is a statement in itself. Not that Tricare is that great, either.

I suppose your mileage varies depending on the location (I'm in Atlanta) and your particular situation. Being a woman meant I ran into problems that didn't apply to the men.  If you're very stable and just need those six-month checkups and monitoring, they might not be bad. Anything else....you could be really screwed.

 I believe the VA can prescribe any FDA approved ARV's, so that in itself isn't a problem. Trying to physically get them in my hands was. And trying to get anything beyond an ARV was pretty tough at times. Lord help you if you have a non-formulary drug. I was never offered a genotype or phenotype, but then I was generally undetectable. I do think they had at least genotypes.


But don't let me scare you off. It could just be that the VA here isn't too swift. Or I'm just cranky. Or both. I'd say at least give them a chance, but don't give up any other options that you may have.

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