What Questions To Ask My Doc
May 6, 2003
Tested positive for HIV March 17, 2003. April 30, 2003 my first blood result indicate T-Cell at 58 and Viral Load at 198,287. I see my doctor on May 2, 2003 as this is all new to me and it appears I have been infected for awhile what questions should I be asking?
Thanks for your help! Steve W
Response from Dr. Young
This is a lengthy answer that I'll try to summarize--
First, as about your doctor's experience in treating HIV. Experience matters- better outcomes, fewer complications, better survival.
Next, as about drug resistance testing. While not part of the current treatment guidelines, in many centers, resistance testing prior to starting therapy has become standard of care (it is in our practice) and may very well influence the kind of medications that you might be able to use.
Ask about what kind of therapies might be most appropriate for you. Which type of medications? How does she or he plan on monitoring you? How to best adhere to the medications and prevent possible side effects of medications.
Ask about how to prevent other infectious complications.
In short, it would seem that you have a rather serious condition with very low CD4 cell counts and high viral load. Getting treatment "right", so to speak will be very important. Learn as much as possible about your options, but I'd be looking at starting treatment in the very near future.
Good luck. BY
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