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Author Topic: Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?  (Read 2926 times)

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Offline Rockin

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Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?
« on: May 31, 2012, 11:06:58 AM »
I've recently been approved for a full MBA program in the UK (more precisely, in London). And, naturally, being diagnosed as poz for a year, I have my concerns.

First of all, will I be able to go? Will I be able to be treated by the UK health department while I'm there? Will they kick me out of their country? Will I be refused treatment for not being a UK citizen? I do have an international health insurance but I understand that HIV meds are not sold in the UK so it's pretty much useless on this matter.

I've been under treatment since August of last year and I'm currently undetectable with a CD4 count of 400 so I'm perfectly healthy at the moment (not that it matters in the situation, just some small info for you). 

Offline newt

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Re: Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2012, 12:27:38 PM »
Under the current NHS regulations, anyone who comes to the UK to study full-time on a course lasting more than 6 months is entitled to free NHS care while resident here.

So you can go to an NHS clinic and see the doc/get the drugs for free.

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline Rockin

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Re: Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2012, 12:30:59 PM »
Under the current NHS regulations, anyone who comes to the UK to study full-time on a course lasting more than 6 months is entitled to free NHS care while resident here.

So you can go to an NHS clinic and see the doc/get the drugs for free.

- matt


Great news Matt, thanks. I'll be staying for a whole year.

What about carrying HIV meds with you when you enter customs? Will I have any problem with that?

Offline Cliff

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Re: Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2012, 12:54:43 PM »
No.  There are no issues with bringing your hiv meds into the country.

Offline Rockin

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Re: Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2012, 01:13:19 PM »
No.  There are no issues with bringing your hiv meds into the country.

Really? No risk of running into an ignorant customs official who might think I'm trying to smuggle illegal drugs to their country?

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2012, 01:23:46 PM »
Really? No risk of running into an ignorant customs official who might think I'm trying to smuggle illegal drugs to their country?

This is why you should keep them in their original bottles with the pharmacy scrip on them.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline newt

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Re: Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2012, 08:12:07 PM »
Quote
Really? No risk of running into an ignorant customs official who might think I'm trying to smuggle illegal drugs to their country?

No. We have sniffer dogs for coke etc. Prescription meds in orginal containers are of no interest to our UK Border Force officials, they are interested in bombs and meeting their queue targets so they don't get sacked in the Great British Age of Austerity and Difficult Parliamentary Questions About Passport Control Queue Times.

Bring your meds in your hand luggage with a copy of your prescription. Bring a book to read in the passport control queue.

 -matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline Rockin

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Re: Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2012, 07:02:18 PM »
Hey Newt, much thanks. And how is the treatment process? I can go to any to take the meds with me? I will of course bring with me a letter from my doctor and my latest lab tests, will that be enough?


Offline newt

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Re: Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2012, 08:33:12 PM »
By all means bring meds with you and a doctor's letter.

I expect any clinic you go to will let you use the meds you bring, but then give you a refill of the same (or equivalent ones) for free.

The doctor's letter will be useful to avoid initial tests, and should include a history of recent tests and date of diagnosis etc. But the clinic will still want its own blood draws before it gives out a prescription.

HIV care in the UK is some of the best in the world.

 -matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline Rockin

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Re: Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2012, 09:03:00 PM »
By all means bring meds with you and a doctor's letter.

I expect any clinic you go to will let you use the meds you bring, but then give you a refill of the same (or equivalent ones) for free.

The doctor's letter will be useful to avoid initial tests, and should include a history of recent tests and date of diagnosis etc. But the clinic will still want its own blood draws before it gives out a prescription.

HIV care in the UK is some of the best in the world.

 -matt


Thanks Newt, I'm much more relieved now. My mom is also worried about this so she'll be glad to know this.

Offline Ann

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Re: Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2012, 10:04:01 AM »


HIV care in the UK is some of the best in the world.



Bears repeating! You might not want to go back home after your studies are finished, based on this alone. ;)
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Rockin

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Re: Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2012, 02:31:00 PM »
Bears repeating! You might not want to go back home after your studies are finished, based on this alone. ;)

Well I'm actually considering staying longer if a good job comes up. Not really very fond of Rio and Brazil at the moment and I do love British culture, minus their cuisine lol.

I think I'll have an easier time finding a relationship there as well. Brazilians are hot but education here is very poor so they are usually ignorant and not very well-cultured. 

Offline Ann

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Re: Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2012, 09:07:25 AM »
Well I'm actually considering staying longer if a good job comes up. Not really very fond of Rio and Brazil at the moment and I do love British culture, minus their cuisine lol.

I think I'll have an easier time finding a relationship there as well. Brazilians are hot but education here is very poor so they are usually ignorant and not very well-cultured. 

I've been here 21 years now (originally from the States) and the cuisine has vastly improved in that time and it's getting better all the time as well.

It's mainly improved because (modern) Brits tend to embrace new foods from other cultures, particularly since air travel became so much cheaper and Brits started holidaying abroad, rather than having a sea-side holiday in places like Blackpool, Yarmouth or the Isle of Man. We also have a lot of cookery programs on telly these days and that's helped a lot.

I remember when you could rarely find mayonnaise (for example) in the shops - all that was available was that yucky stuff they call salad cream. There are a lot of other items regularly available in the shops now that were unheard of twenty years ago.

And yeah, there's a lot less ignorance surrounding hiv here than there is in many other parts of the world. For example, when you compare the UK hiv laws with some of the US laws (as discussed in that other thread), you'll see how much more reasonable things are here. Wild horses couldn't drag me back to live in the US again (for many reasons). Sad, but true.

Good luck with your UK endeavors!
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline darryaz

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Re: Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2012, 09:16:04 AM »
Bears repeating! You might not want to go back home after your studies are finished, based on this alone. ;)

Exactly what I was thinking.

Offline Rockin

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Re: Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2012, 12:28:12 PM »
I've been here 21 years now (originally from the States) and the cuisine has vastly improved in that time and it's getting better all the time as well.

It's mainly improved because (modern) Brits tend to embrace new foods from other cultures, particularly since air travel became so much cheaper and Brits started holidaying abroad, rather than having a sea-side holiday in places like Blackpool, Yarmouth or the Isle of Man. We also have a lot of cookery programs on telly these days and that's helped a lot.

I remember when you could rarely find mayonnaise (for example) in the shops - all that was available was that yucky stuff they call salad cream. There are a lot of other items regularly available in the shops now that were unheard of twenty years ago.

And yeah, there's a lot less ignorance surrounding hiv here than there is in many other parts of the world. For example, when you compare the UK hiv laws with some of the US laws (as discussed in that other thread), you'll see how much more reasonable things are here. Wild horses couldn't drag me back to live in the US again (for many reasons). Sad, but true.

Good luck with your UK endeavors!

So nice to hear this Ann, I'm really excited about this. You live in London?

Offline newt

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Re: Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2012, 01:47:40 PM »
Erm, these days, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the islands (except Jersey) are the foodie nations. Come and eat well.

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline Ann

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Re: Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2012, 02:30:41 PM »
No, I live on the Isle of Man. It's in the middle of the Irish Sea and it's a great place to live.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline spacebarsux

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Re: Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2012, 07:33:58 PM »
Well I'm actually considering staying longer if a good job comes up. Not really very fond of Rio and Brazil at the moment and I do love British culture, minus their cuisine lol.


There isn't a cuisine you won't find in London.  ;)
Infected-  2005 or early 2006; Diagnosed- Jan 28th, 2011; Feb '11- CD4 754 @34%, VL- 39K; July '11- CD4 907@26%,  VL-81K; Feb '12- CD4 713 @31%, VL- 41K, Nov '12- CD4- 827@31%

Offline Rockin

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Re: Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2012, 04:53:24 PM »
There isn't a cuisine you won't find in London.  ;)

I know, of course, I meant traditional British cuisine.

Do luv the fish & chips though.

Offline Rockin

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Re: Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2012, 11:25:54 AM »
Hello, a new information was brought to my attention yesterday.

Apparently my MBA program in London demands that I have an international health insurance plan. This is probably some mandate from British Immigration Dept. I'm afraid.

The one they recommend is named Erika Insurance. On the school's website they do state that if you have a chronic condition you should bring a letter from doctor and you can bring up to 3 months worth of medicine and everything...I think this does apply to my situation.

But Im not sure what to do. Should I be honest with the insurance plan about it? Should I lie? They are charging 1.500GBP for one year of insurance, is that too much? Will disclosure of my status increase the cost? Am I gonna have some problem because of this? Need advice, please.

Offline Ann

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Re: Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2012, 11:34:33 AM »
Rockin, you'll have to look into this further, but I'm pretty sure that hiv is treated differently than say, someone who has diabetes and needs a regular supply of insulin. Anyone - including asylum seekers and illegal immigrants - can get hiv care here. It shouldn't have any bearing on your insurance.

I know of a UK travel/health insurance company who doesn't blink an eye over hiv. As long as your CD4 counts are above 200, they don't charge you a higher premium. I know this for a fact because I've use them several times, and my ex-bf who was negative (and with no other pre-existing conditions) used them at the same time and our premiums were exactly the same.

My current bf (also  poz) uses them when he travels abroad too. Their prices are very reasonable and they have coverage of varying lengths of time - and I think the longer you have a policy with them, the cheaper it is overall.

The only hitch is that I'm not sure if you have to be a UK citizen or not in order to use them. Get in touch with them - I've always found the people who field their phone calls or email correspondence to be very polite and helpful.

http://www.freedominsure.co.uk/
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Rockin

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Re: Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2012, 11:38:58 AM »
Rockin, you'll have to look into this further, but I'm pretty sure that hiv is treated differently than say, someone who has diabetes and needs a regular supply of insulin. Anyone - including asylum seekers and illegal immigrants - can get hiv care here. It shouldn't have any bearing on your insurance.

I know of a UK travel/health insurance company who doesn't blink an eye over hiv. As long as your CD4 counts are above 200, they don't charge you a higher premium. I know this for a fact because I've use them several times, and my ex-bf who was negative (and with no other pre-existing conditions) used them at the same time and our premiums were exactly the same.

My current bf (also  poz) uses them when he travels abroad too. Their prices are very reasonable and they have coverage of varying lengths of time - and I think the longer you have a policy with them, the cheaper it is overall.

The only hitch is that I'm not sure if you have to be a UK citizen or not in order to use them. Get in touch with them - I've always found the people who field their phone calls or email correspondence to be very polite and helpful.

http://www.freedominsure.co.uk/

Thanks Ann, but apparently is for permanent UK residents only.

Im just afraid of disclosing my status to the school board. They don't have to know anything about my status, its none of their business. But since they are the ones offering the insurance plan Im afraid theyll eventually find out about it. They do say that I can get another similar health plan if I want to. 

One other thing: If Im gonna have an insurance plan now...will they be the ones responsible for the continuation of my treatment in the UK or will I still be treated by the British Health Department?

Offline Ann

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Re: Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?
« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2012, 11:52:17 AM »

Thanks Ann, but apparently is for permanent UK residents only.


Well, that sucks. They're a good company.


One other thing: If Im gonna have an insurance plan now...will they be the ones responsible for the continuation of my treatment in the UK or will I still be treated by the British Health Department?


No, all hiv care is free from the NHS (national health service). You'd really only need the health insurance for something like a broken leg - in other words, non-hiv-related. It's possible that you won't be asked about your hiv status.

And anyway, it shouldn't matter if the school finds out about your hiv status. In the UK, you are covered under the UK Disability and the Equality Act 2010 from the point of diagnosis. So what if they know - they can't do a damn thing about it.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Rockin

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Re: Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?
« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2012, 11:58:06 AM »
No, all hiv care is free from the NHS (national health service). You'd really only need the health insurance for something like a broken leg - in other words, non-hiv-related. It's possible that you won't be asked about your hiv status.

And anyway, it shouldn't matter if the school finds out about your hiv status. In the UK, you are covered under the UK Disability and the Equality Act 2010 from the point of diagnosis. So what if they know - they can't do a damn thing about it.

I just read Erika (which is a Swedish insurance, apparently) booklet and they state that they do not cover HIV related expenses, which was to be expected.

So Ann...in your opinion should I still disclose my status to the insurance plan?

Offline Ann

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Re: Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?
« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2012, 12:02:39 PM »


Under the current NHS regulations, anyone who comes to the UK to study full-time on a course lasting more than 6 months is entitled to free NHS care while resident here.

So you can go to an NHS clinic and see the doc/get the drugs for free.

- matt



I really don't think it matters one way or the other. You're covered for hiv anyway - and that's probably why the insurance company doesn't - they don't have to and can do so with a clear conscience.

In fact, given the NHS regulations, I'm not sure why your school is insisting you get insurance in the first place. Maybe you need to speak to someone at the school for clarification.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Rockin

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Re: Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?
« Reply #25 on: July 12, 2012, 12:05:02 PM »
I really don't think it matters one way or the other. You're covered for hiv anyway - and that's probably why the insurance company doesn't - they don't have to and can do so with a clear conscience.

In fact, given the NHS regulations, I'm not sure why your school is insisting you get insurance in the first place. Maybe you need to speak to someone at the school for clarification.

This is also a travel insurance and that might be the main reason...might not have something to do specifically with health issues but with overall travel issues. But Ill check with them, thanks Ann.

Offline Alan_B

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Re: Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?
« Reply #26 on: July 14, 2012, 04:51:16 AM »
If there was ever a topic that made me feel proud to be British it's this one. Free care, free meds. Fantastic service.

Hope you can sort out your insurance and if you ever fancy a jaunt to Belfast / Northern Ireland then drop me a line.

Regards

Alan.
Diagnosed - 01 Dec 2011 cd4 500
                  17 Jan 2012 cd4 520 vl 250k
                  02 Feb 2012 cd4 490 16% vl 167k - atripla
                  28 Jun 2012 cd4 610 24% vl 75
                       Jul 2012 cd4 870     Changed meds
                      Aug 2012 cd4 660 UD
                      Nov 2012 cd4 640 UD

"There is nothing wrong with going to bed with someone of your own sex. People should be very free with sex; they should draw the line at goats."  ~ Sir Elton John

Offline Ann

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Re: Hows does the UK treats a poz foreign student?
« Reply #27 on: July 14, 2012, 08:28:59 AM »

 But Ill check with them


Have you done this yet?

You might want to give Freedom Insure a ring anyway and speak to one of their representatives over the phone. As I've said, their people are very helpful, polite and knowledgeable.

They very well may know more about insurance issues in a case like this (where there is a pre-existing condition) than someone at your school. This company specialises in pre-existing conditions.

It wouldn't hurt to ring them - the worst they can do is to say they can't help. Even if they can't help you directly, they may have other resources they can direct you to. Give it a go.

At the very least, send them an email and explain your situation and ask if they have a policy that would apply to you, or if they can refer your onwards to other resources.

http://www.freedominsure.co.uk/
« Last Edit: July 14, 2012, 08:30:41 AM by Ann »
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

 


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