Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Insurance, Benefits Programs & HIV

Just started SSDI Process & very scared.

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Wow! Thanks Jeff and Mitch for your very insightful responses.

Bravo, part of your first post brings up some questions:

--- Quote from: Bravo on June 30, 2013, 03:41:48 PM ---
I was first diagnosed in 2002 with CD count 38 and my CD Count has not seen any significant improvement. Within the last 12 years my CD4 has ranged from 100 - 250. It just recently dropped to 200, with viral load of 50. I'm really struggling with a lot of health issues, recurring genital herpes, ....

--- End quote ---

Are you on hiv meds? If you are, is that VL of 50 a recent blip, or have you been low-level detectable for some time? If you have been detectable, is your doctor doing anything about changing your meds?

Regarding the herpes, do you take acyclovir? You don't have to deal with constant herpes outbreaks. Daily acyclovir would stop them, and acyclovir is available as an inexpensive generic.


Hi Ann,  last year I was undetectable a couple times, but my last two tests had viral 65 and 50 respectively. I was on Epzicon and Viramune  but in April 2013 my Doc changed it Truvada & Viramune and my viral load dropped from 65 to 50. My CD4 count has not seen any significant improvement since I was diagnosed in 2002.  My ID Doc says, 100-250 CD4 is probably my baseline line because of my recurrent Herpes and Chronic Thrombocytopenia.  I've been taking Acyclovir since 2002 for the recurrent Herpes but I'm still getting regular flareups.  Maybe my immune system is now resistant to Acyclovir or I don't have any left.  I've been on Combevir & Viramune, Sustiva & Viramune, Epzicon & Viramune and currently on Truvada & Viramune. Don't know what else to try.   Thanks

Hi Bravo,

I wanted to welcome you to the forums and say good luck with pursuing disability.  I, like Jeff, was an early pozzie, and was approved fairly quickly for disability.  Of course, as Jeff has said, most of us diagnosed back then were not expected to live. 

However, now I do work part time.  If you are able to get disability and later on want to supplement your income, you can get back into the work force, even part time.  I did try getting off disability and working full time, but my body was not able to handle it, so I am supplementing my income.  There are agencies geared toward working with people on disability to get them jobs, while working with the individuals to maintain their benefits. I also wanted to say that there was a huge gap in my work history; prior to being hired in 2009, I hadn't worked since 1992 or '93.  Which made it harder to find employment again.

From what I've seen, and with my clients (I'm a case manager), the disability process today seems to be pretty long.  But if your doctor has good documentation, and can write up a good report confirming your total disability, it may not be too upsetting for you.

Good luck and please keep us updated on your journey!


Betty, Thank you so much for the advice and encouragement. I'm learning a lot from this forum.


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