If you have received a positive human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) blood test result, you are probably experiencing many emotions, all at the same time. While, years ago, this diagnosis was considered a death sentence and communities often shunned sufferers, these things are no longer true in the United States.
Today medications exist that have greatly slowed the progression of the condition and reduced the death rate. In addition, the American population has grown more accepting and less afraid of this disorder.
What is HIV/AIDS?
HIV is spread through sexual activity, contact with HIV-infected blood, and through pregnancy, childbirth or breast-feeding (mother to child).
AIDS is a chronic condition that is caused by HIV. Basically, the HIV virus compromises your immune system and makes it very difficult for your body to fight off diseases. Yet, many people with HIV have been able to live active lives due to research that has led to medicines that keep full-blown AIDS at bay for ten years or more.
Complications of HIV/AIDS leading to disability
As your immune system is weakened, you will become more likely to acquire certain infections and cancers. Many of these can cause disabilities, which may qualify you for SSA disability benefits. Some of the most disabling are:
- Tuberculosis: Although more frequent in poorer nations, this disease is a leading reason for AIDS-related fatalities.
- Cytomegalovirus: This virus can lie dormant until HIV activates it. Damage to the digestive system, eyes, lungs and other organs can occur.
- Cryptococcal meningitis: This condition involves the brain and spinal fluid membranes, which are inflamed. It affects the central nervous system.
- Toxoplasmosis: An infection spread mostly by cats, this condition is potentially deadly.
- Kaposi’s sarcoma: This cancer appears in HIV victims as lesions on the skin and mouth. A tumor in the blood vessel walls, Kaposi’s sarcoma can affect various body organs.
- Lymphoma: Known as a cancer of the white blood cells, lymphoma begins in the lymph nodes and progresses.
Plan ahead for HIV/AIDS and Social Security disability benefits. While you will probably experience symptoms throughout the HIV progression period, you may quite possibly continue to work. However, the time may come when you are no longer able to stay on the job. At this point, you may need financial help, and this is where the Massachusetts Social Security Administration (SSA) disability system comes in.
We strongly suggest that you seek medical help as soon as you are diagnosed. By doing so, you will increase your quality of life and build important medical documentation if you ever need to apply for Massachusetts SSA disability benefits.
Contact a Disability Lawyer Today
If you need help with this process, or feel that you will in the future, you should consider calling a Massachusetts disability attorney. At Keefe Disability Law, you will find a caring, expert team to help you. Call us today toll free at 888-904-6847 for a free case evaluation, or just to discuss your options.