Reply to "AIDS turns 20"

Are you HIV-positive?:

Do you have what most would consider
"comprehensive health insurance coverage"? But do you still find the costs of HIV/AIDS treatment is breaking your bank?
POZ magazine, a national magazine about HIV/AIDS, needs your input for an article on the rising costs of health care for people with HIV/AIDS in America. The piece will focus on the contradiction of the HIV-positive American who has what most consider to be solid health insurance, but who still faces the financial burden of rising premiums, hidden fees, copays, uncovered procedures and the like.

For instance: your monthly copays just for medications might be as much as $150, especially if you are being treated for another chronic condition, like depression. How does this affect your ability to pay the bills? Further, insurance premiums and copays levels are on the
rise: are you worried about maintaining your insurance at your current income level? Do you find yourself staying at a job you don't like just for the insurance?

If you have insurance from a major carrier--Aetna, Oxford, etc.--or an employer-sponsored plan, we want to hear from you about
your experiences navigating the insurance maze in the face of a lagging economy, and an increasingly expensive health care system. We want to know how much you spend on health care, and in what ways your insurance either falls short of complete coverage, or is so expensive in and of itself as to cut into your total income. Do you eat out less? Avoid that vacation? And
how do you try and cut medical costs--what tricks have you discovered?

Ideally, we would like to use your full name, and be able to have a clear run-down of your financial profile: your yearly income; certain normal monthly expenses, like rent/mortgage, food, nights out or car payments; and your insurance expenditures. And if you are willing, we may also like to publish a photograph of you.

Please email me a brief note about how you fit
into this story, with your phone number and the best time to reach you, so I can contact you for an interview. I would like to hear from you by Friday, November 8th, though into the next week would work as well.

Thanks so much for your help. If you know of
anyone else who might have something to say on this matter, please forward them this email. (Note: if you send to more than one person at a time, remember to blind copy (bcc:) the addresses to protect others' confidentiality.)

All the best,

Benjamin Ryan
Contributing Writer
POZ magazine
benjaminryan@nyc.rr.com
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