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Financial assistance for HIV positive people


PRESS RELEASE: March 31, 2008

Wellness Fund: Financial assistance for HIV positive people

A new Wellness Fund aimed at providing financial assistance for HIV positive people living in New Zealand has been launched this week by the New Zealand AIDS Foundation.

The needs-based service has been designed by the Foundation in consultation with people affected by HIV and AIDS nationwide, and is aimed primarily at covering health-related costs where alternative sources of funding are unavailable.

“Despite substantial improvements made over the last decade in the treatment of HIV, New Zealanders living with the virus continue to face significant and diverse challenges in maintaining their health and wellbeing,” says NZAF National Positive Health Manager Eamonn Smythe.

The Wellness Fund provides small grants of up to $750 per annum for those on low incomes. These can be used to reimburse fees incurred by GPs, massage, podiatry, physiotherapy, osteopath, acupuncture, naturopathy, nutritionists, dieticians, or other health-related needs.

Special grants of up to $3,000 are on offer for healthcare or services which are not publicly funded, such as lipoatrophy treatment.

A third grant scheme (up to $500 per annum) reimburses travel costs related to attending New Zealand-based HIV conferences or travelling outside of your region to see an HIV specialist or NZAF counsellor.

“The Wellness Fund is maintained entirely through donations and bequests from the community,” Smythe says. “The New Zealand AIDS Foundation’s fundraising efforts, chiefly World AIDS Day, help to generate a significant part of this.”

For more information on the Wellness Fund, including funding criteria and application forms, please visit www.nzaf.org.nz . You can make an automatic $10 donation to NZAF by phoning 0900 RIBBON (742266) (you must be the bill payer).

ENDS

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