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After diagnosis/long time treatment
Dec 27, 2011

I've been HIV pos for 10 yrs (was diagnosed shortly after exposure). 2 yrs ago I was finally put on HAART...(Atripla). I maintain the best treatment/follow up my Medicare/Medicaid will afford me. I had been being seen and blood drawn every three months.....at my last visit, some 3 mos ago, the PA told me that 'since I have been stable on Atripla for about 2 yrs, I only need to be seen every 6 mos.(for blood work). I was hospitalized with pneumonia and an acute asthma excerbation in Sept. HIV/Aids clinic told me then that 'if it's not Aids related they don't care all that much'...yet they ask me if I've been hospitalized prior to seeing them, They do not care. I am not black, I am not gay, I am not an IV drug user..I am senior adult infected by a man who felt no need to disclose when I was newly divorced. My HIV pos friend.......poz for 19 yrs has been stable on her meds for years, her private practice doc insists she be seen every 3 mos........me, at the Aids clinic only every 6 mos? ...Just want the good care, even though I am on Disability and my friend has great insurance......ugh..signed Alabama Gal

Response from Dr. McGowan

Dear Alabama Gal,

Many docs do feel comfortable seeing patients every 6 months if they have been stable for a long time. In New York State, we recommend a visit each trimester (every 4 months) at least. That being said, I do have patients who are working or have to travel great distances that I see less often. Since your HIV issues are stable, but the asthma or other chronic medical conditions may be more active, it may be best for you to see a General Medical Doc or Family Medicine Practitioner as your PCP (Primary Care Practitioner). They can see you between your HIV visits to track your other health issues.

Best, Joe



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