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Desperate, I don't know what to do.
May 25, 2003

Hello Dr. I just knew three days ago that I'm HVR+ and I really do not know waht to do. Next week I have to go to the Doctor to start taking care of my case, but How can I be sure if that Doctor is really good in this issue and if he is goint to give me a really good treatment. What can I do? Who can help me with this? I'm a foreing and just arrived five mothns ago.. So I don't have friends or Family. I just can count on myself to be O.K and of course in a good Dr.

Thanks for your patience and sorry about my English and words. It's just that I don't know what to do !!!

Response from Dr. Young

Thank you for your question. Your english is fine.

There are a number of things that you can do to make sure that your doctor is qualified to take care of HIV-- ask about how many patients that she or he takes care of; how long has she been taking care of HIV infected persons-- this is usually a good starting point and is not confrontational.

Ask if she or he is a member of the American Academy of HIV Medicine or the HIV Medicine Association-- two groups that participate in HIV education. Does she or he attend the international or national meetings on HIV, or alternatively get regular Continuing Medical Education on HIV.

Lastly, call your local AIDS service organization (they are usually in the Yellow Pages of the phone book) and ask about peer advocates-- these are persons who can help navigate the complex decisions about care and treatment options-- ask, too about which doctors that each organization has good relationships with, which doctors they feel are well trained and qualified, and most importantly, ones that communicate well with their patients.

Good luck. Let us know how things evolve. BY



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