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finding a doctor
Nov 29, 2004

My husband and i are on hiv medication for a year. we are attending a dr who i think has some hiv expereince but not a lot, given a few decsions he has made. such as recommending a genotype test for my husband, we questioned him on this decision because we had read that inorder to have a genotype test you needed a viral load greater than ?..meanwhile my husbands viral load was totally supressed for 10 months. he said it was still supressed...2 weeks later he called and said there was not enough viral load in the blood to do the test ! no kiddin' there were other times when we doubted his ability also, like telling us its ok to have unprotected sex with each other. We read a lot and are both very well educated and do everything we can to understand the disease and stay well. So my dilemma is trying to find an experienced dr and knowing if there is some way to check credentials etc...we are in the pacific NW. thanks for any direction you can send us. how may hiv patients should a dr have on his books to say he is experineced in hiv care ?

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your questions.

There are a number of very good HIV specialist physicians in the PNW- particularly in the Seattle and Portland areas. I'd ask your local AIDS Service Organization(s) (ASO; ASOfinder.com) or search the American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM.org) website for details for your city.

As to how many patients "qualifies" a doctor, there isn't one set breakpoint, but I'd think that somewhere between 10 and 20 patients is a minimal standard. This issue isn't entirely one where bigger is necessarily better, nor is smaller worse, but whether the doctor stays up to date with current literature and research. Certification by the AAHIVM is another way to verify a minimum standard. All of these are indirect measures of experience. In the end, ask your doctors about their experience and ongoing educational efforts.

Good luck, let us know how things turn out for you and your husband. BY



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