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Talking to Your Doctor About AIDS
- Bring someone else with you if it makes you more comfortable. Sometimes it helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
- Write your questions ahead of time, so you do not forget them.
- Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
- Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
- How is my immune system functioning?
- What is my viral load and CD4+ T cell count?
- How quickly will my condition worsen?
- Based on my lifestyle, am I at risk for other infections besides HIV infection and AIDS?
- Do I need to be tested for other infections?
- What can I do to lessen my chance of progressing to AIDS?
- What is my best treatment option?
- What other options are there?
- What are the risks and benefits associated with each treatment option?
- What medications are available to help me?
- What are the benefits/side effects of these medications?
- When should I start taking them?
- Will these medications interact with other medications, over-the-counter products, or dietary or herbal supplements I am already taking for other conditions?
- How long will I have to take these medications?
- What should I do if I miss a dose?
- What can I do to prevent other infections?
- What will I need to change in my daily routine?
- How long can I expect to continue working at my present job? Or caring for myself?
Should I exercise?
- What type of exercise is best?
- How much should I be exercising?
- How do I get started with an exercise program?
- Are there dietary changes I should make? How do I go about it?
- Should I stop drinking alcohol?
- How can I find help to quit smoking?
- What can I do to prevent complications?
- How can I avoid giving this disease to someone I love? Or to other people?
- What are my risks for developing complications?
- Will I still be able to have children?
- Will I put my future children at risk for this disease?
- Will I be able to live a normal life?
- What is the likelihood I will be totally disabled or need help with personal care?
- Am I likely to die soon? Do I need to put my affairs in order?
- Reviewer: David Horn, MD, FACP
- Review Date: 09/2016
- Update Date: 08/10/2016