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What questions should I ask my doctor if I am HIV-positive or have AIDS?

If you are human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive or living with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), review the following questions and discuss them with your healthcare professional:
  • Do you have experience treating people with HIV/AIDS? About how many people with HIV/AIDS have you treated? Are you an HIV/AIDS specialist?
  • How soon should I begin treatment for AIDS? What are the pros and cons of starting drug therapy soon after I am infected with HIV?
  • What are the main side effects of antiviral drugs?
  • Once I start treatment, do I have to continue taking the drugs for the rest of my life?
  • What is my viral load (the amount of virus in my blood) and my CD4 count? What do they tell me about my illness?
  • Are there alternative therapies I can consider?
  • If I get pregnant, can I still deliver a healthy baby? How can I protect my baby from AIDS?
  • Should I avoid breastfeeding my baby if I have AIDS? Why?
  • What are the chances of my sexual partner becoming infected if we use condoms?
  • I need to talk to other people with AIDS, who understand what I'm going through. Where can I find a support group?
  • How does HIV infection affect my risk for developing infections and other complications?
  • How can I keep up with new advances in fighting HIV/AIDS?

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.