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Author Topic: Have to move to Japan for 6 months and possibly longer, anybody in Japan?  (Read 1223 times)

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Offline Anqueetas

  • Member
  • Posts: 116
Hello everyone it been almost two years since July 2011 since I'm was infected. Life was great, I have been taking ARV since April 2012 and been UD since August 1 2012. My problem is From July 1st I will be moving to Japan for a least 6 months and possibly longer, hear comes the medication and blood work problem. Since having that done in Japan is ridiculously expensive. I do have perfect adherence with CD4 621 28% and UD for around 10 months now. Any one have experience with pushing Viral load test beyond 6 months?

My doctor comment was that he can give extra medication beyond 6 months but he said that 8 months is maximum for him to stretch out for safety reason.

If this is a no, then the only way is to take time off work fly back to Thailand(I Thai BTW.) get blood work done and get medication then fly back to Japan again, very inconvenient and expensive but still cheaper than treatment in Japan.

Poz forum, help me through bad time in 2012. I'm so grateful for all the support in here.

PS. anyone living in Japan and know how the healthcare system work over there? I would be appreciated, since I will get an insurance from my company.
ARS, hospitalized for very high fever-July 2011
diagnosed HIV positive - October 16 2011
CD4 460 19.5% VL 49000 - late October 2011
CD4 625 19.5% VL 50030 - January 2012
CD4 369 19% VL 69000 - March 2012
Start Sustiva+ Truvada - April 17 2012
CD4 524 24.5% VL UD - August 22 2012
Switch to Nevirapine+Truvada
CD4 490 26% VL UD - November 2012
CD4 539 29% VL UD - February 2013
CD4 621 28% VL UD - May 2013

Offline atlanta05

  • Member
  • Posts: 21
I've just moved away from Japan after 12 years there. I was infected and discovered it there. I am not Japanese. (but I love Japan, and miss it already!)

Will you be working in Japan? All workers are eligible (including non-citizens) for the National Health insurance system. You can find info on this at your local Ward Office. Your company may or may not pay half of the monthly fee. As you are a newcomer in Japan, your monthly fee will at a minimum, because it is calculated from the previous year's income. For myself, I paid a rather high 32,000 yen per month (although far, far cheaper than paying for meds.) because my income put me in that tax bracket. This includes the cost of blood tests. About private health insurance...none that I know of include existing medical conditions, especially expensive ones like HIV. But I didn't use private, so I don't exactly know. Public in Japan is excellent. The basic plan is that you will only ever pay 30% of any medical cost, but this may be discounted more.

You will need to register with the nearest National hospital - they will have an "Infectious Diseases" department which deals with HIV and others. Perhaps the easiest way, and the most discreet, is to contact an AIDS testing centre - they will have info and a counseller who can write a letter of introduction to the hospital and give you a map to it.

At the hospital you will be assigned a doctor who will continue your treatment as normal, and perhaps a social worker who can help you with paperwork if reading and writing Japanese is a problem.

Last, as HIV is a serious medical condition, under National Health you will qualify as "disabled". This means a further discount for any medical services (I paid only 500 yen for any and every doctor visit, on top of my monthly insurance fee) and, depending on which city you are in, further help. For example, I received a card for free travel on the subway system (I used it every day!).

The quality of care is among the highest in the world, and medical staff will treat you with discretion and respect.

If you have any questions, please do PM me. I will check in here again over the next few days to see if you do.

Which city will you be in?

All the best!


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