The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Choosing Your MedsChoosing Your Meds
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

Second Opinion?
Dec 4, 2004

I was diagnosed 3 weeks ago, and had previously tested negative around June 30, 2004. My cd4 count is 386 and viral load is 9,700. My doctor, who has a large HIV practice, has elected not to begin treatment. Should I get a second opinion? Should I switch to a doctor who is a recognized HIV specialist?

Response from Dr. Pierone

Based on your initial numbers the treatment guidelines would recommend deferring therapy. You mentioned that your current doctor has a large HIV practice; this usually does not happen by accident and suggests that he or she is recognized (at least his/her large clientele) as an HIV specialist. Some of the best HIV doctors that I know were not formally trained in Infectious Disease, but gravitated to HIV medicine because of a strong desire to help people living with this disease.

But since you are asking about a second opinion or switching care, there must be something that you are concerned about with your doctor. If this is true, then you should get a second opinion. Sometimes things simply click better with another provider. The only way to know for sure is to visit another doctor and see. Many people living with HIV infection put up with a mediocre doctor far too long. Within about 30 seconds after seeing another doctor (or PA or NP) they realize that they should have made a change years ago.

scared about starting
cd8 changes significant?

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint