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HIV+ What to ask at first appointment
May 23, 2004

I am about to have my first appointment with my doctor after testing positive for HIV. I have had an extensive blood workup and baseline CXR prior to this appointment and expect the results to be available at this upcoming appointment. Do I sit back and listen only, or cam you provide a few important questions that I may pose to my provider that may be of future benefit to me as things progress. Thank you

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your question.

It's important to listen to what your doctor has to say, but also important that you have a chance to ask your own questions. What is your doctor's treatment philosophy? How long has he or she been doing HIV care, how many patients are under their care? Does he or she attend scientific meetings or continuing education? How about publications or participation in the American Academy, HIVMA or other professional organizations?

First visits are also a good time to find out about office policies-- how are appointments scheduled? how to reach your doctor for questions or emergencies? How are refills for medications obtained?

It will be very important for you to understand a little about the natural history of HIV and drug resistance issues-- particularly as they pertain to your lab results. Make sure that you have a chance to hear and understand what your results mean. Ask about vaccinations-- which ones should you have?

I hope that you find this helpful. Good luck, BY



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