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Author Topic: VA Health Benefits  (Read 1601 times)

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Offline fred40

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  • Posts: 15
  • Strength in numbers
VA Health Benefits
« on: February 10, 2007, 10:11:00 am »
I was just enrolled in the Veterans Health Benefits and was checking to see if anybody here is getting health care through the VA and their experience and opinions on the quality of health care for HIV.


Offline fondeveau

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  • Posts: 425
Re: VA Health Benefits
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2007, 08:02:41 pm »
My brother says he gets the best care from the VA and there is never a wait.  Of course, he's a general in Army.   Your experience may differ.

Offline allanq

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Re: VA Health Benefits
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2007, 11:19:08 pm »
Hi Fred,
I think the quality of care at the VA varies from facility to facility. I receive most of my health care, including the HIV stuff, from a private doctor. However, being a veteran, I also applied to the VA. I thought they would be good as a "backup," in case something were to go awry with my insurance. I also thought they would be good for second opinions.  After several appointments with their infectious disease doctor (presumably their HIV specialist), it occurred to me that I seemed to know more about treating HIV than he did. Also, he had very little knowledge of drugs that were in the development phase. I stopped seeing him on a regular basis, but I make an appointment every year or so, just so that they don't lose track of me.

I have a friend who receives his health care in a VA facility in suburban Philadelphia. He is very pleased with the care he gets.

One thing I like about the VA is that their recordkeeping is all computerized. Anytime you see a doctor, your entire medical history is right at the doctor's fingertips on his computer, rather than in a bunch of lab reports and illegible handwritten notes kept in a tattered cardboard folder.

Wherever you get your care, it's extremely important to be active in your own treatment. Learn about all the HIV drugs, how they are used in different combinations, and what their side effects are. Keep up with the news on drugs under development and in clinical trials. (VA facilities often participate in these trials.) Question your doctor, and make sure you understand the answers. Ask questions on this forum. There are people here who know a great deal about HIV treatment. (I'm thinking of gerry and Newt, but there are others as well.) I know that I have benefited greatly from their expertise.

Good luck. Let us know how things work out for you.

« Last Edit: February 11, 2007, 03:17:59 pm by allanq »


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