The new Medicare prescription drug benefit that took effect at the beginning of the year has been a major headache for many eligible HIVers, according to the American Medical Directors Association. Among the specific problems:
''Limited formularies at participating insurers.
''An HIV patient's viral load and white blood cell count must be submitted to some plans before antiretrovirals are approved.
''Some plans have up to 30 different preauthorization forms for various drugs.
''Cumbersome paperwork requirements for already overtaxed doctors.