New Zealand Group Launches Fund To Provide HIV-Positive People With Assistance for Health, Travel Costs
The New Zealand AIDS Foundation this week launched a fund to provide HIV-positive people in the country with financial assistance for health and travel costs, the NZPA/New Zealand Herald reports. The Wellness Fund is a needs-based service that was established after the foundation conducted nationwide consultations with HIV/AIDS-affected people. According to Eamonn Smythe, the foundation's national positive health manager, the primary focus of the fund is to cover health-related costs for which alternative funding is not available. "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 well-being," Smythe said.
The fund will provide annual grants of up to 750 New Zealand dollars, or about $592, for low-income people. "These can be used to reimburse fees incurred by" general practitioners, "massage, podiatry, physiotherapy, osteopath, acupuncture, naturopathy, nutritionists, dieticians or other health-related needs," Smythe said. Special grants of up to 3,000 New Zealand dollars -- or about $2,370 -- will be available for health care services that are not publicly funded. In addition, a third grant of up to 500 New Zealand dollars, or about $395, will be used for travel costs, according to Smythe. The fund will be sustained entirely through donations and other gifts (NZPA/New Zealand Herald, 4/1).