Need to ask Doc the right questions
Jul 16, 1997
I've had the good fortune to be in the 1%-2% of HIV+ individuals -- a long-term nonprogressor (VL<2000, CD4 above 1,300, exposure 14+ years, no drug therapy). I've just left a research program -- and I must now find a clinical medical doctor locally. While I'm hoping it may be quite a while yet before I begin to have most of the difficulties associated with immune dysfunction (right now, I am told my system is absolutely intact, with memories of tetanus shot 20 years ago) -- I suspect I am at risk for lymphomas and other damage the virus may have been doing. I also need to take preventative measures in my own hands, be on the look out for imbalances and warning signs. So far I've not been able to find a doctor willing to do anything with me, other then VL and CD4 tests, but being in the rurals, I suspect the doctors I've talked with don't understand. Can you give me the names of the actual tests I should be receiving now? I know there is a basic blood chemistry test and perhaps a basic body chemistry test, but I don't know the names of these. I am especially interested in the name for the tests for lymphomas, as not only I am at risk due to free radical damage of HIV aggression, both my parents died early of lymphomas. I need this information, so in my search for my long-term medical doctor, I can make an agreement with him/her that these tests *will* be done, before I accept medical care by him/her over the long haul.
Response from Dr. Cohen
For a detailed discussion of the sorts of tests that are usually recommended for people with HIV, I would refer you to an article I wrote on that subject for another Web site, HealthCare Communications Group (http://www.healthcg.com/). The article is entitled "The Seropositive Patient: The Initial Encounter," (http://www.healthcg.com/seropositive/default.htm). It is written for clinicians, but you may still find it helpful.
There is no routine test for lymphoma.
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