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Post-HIV Diagnosis: Working With Your Doctor Like A Team

November 4th, 2020

If you have just been diagnosed with HIV, it could be a difficult news to take. It has, after all, many emotional, financial, and social consequences. But beyond the initial shock and grief stage, once come to terms with your illness, it’s essential that you take appropriate measures.

You can control the viral load to a point that you live a normal life. But, of course, to make that happen, you must work closely with your doctor, listen to their recommendations, and religiously follow your treatment plan.

Need for Additional Tests

Once you’re diagnosed with HIV, the doctor would do more tests to establish the stage of the disease. It could include CD4 T cell count, HIV RNA, and more. Also, depending on your existing health condition, the doctor might order more tests to check for other complications like UTI, STIs, Hepatitis B, tuberculosis, and more. These tests will help the doctor determine the kind of HIV antiretroviral therapy that’s fit for you.

The effective HIV AIDS treatment plan will help control the viral load under a threshold, which will keep the immune system strong and minimize the risks of getting an infection. Proper ART will also ensure you aren’t transmitting HIV to others.

What About Side-Effects?

Now, just like any other treatment, even ART will have some side effects, including nausea, higher blood glucose level, bone loss, and more. In addition to controlling your HIV, the doctor would also attend to these side-effects. So, reporting to your doctor any side effects you’re experiencing due to HIV AIDS treatments is essential.

As mentioned earlier, it’s all about the teamwork between you and your doctor. You should make regular appointments as advised. There should be no lags in testing or any negligence with medications.

Listen to Your Doctor

After the HIV diagnosis, you should ideally ask your doctor more questions and address all your concerns. Staying informed about your health condition and how the treatment course will look like will help you keep your anxiety and fear at bay. Aside from the medications, the doctor would also make lifestyle recommendations. For instance, most doctors would recommend their patients to eat healthy foods and strive to be physically healthy. They may recommend some supplements and therapies as well.

Again, listen to your doctor and follow all advice. It’s possible to live a normal life with HIV – if you’re checking the right boxes to control your viral load. This goes with all kinds of life-threatening diseases or infections. If you suspect you have contracted STI, Google “STI testing near me”, visit a good clinic, and get tested.

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