Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Should I bring my significant other to my HIV/AIDS follow up?"
I am a 33 year old woman and have been diagnosed with HIV. Should I bring my boyfriend to my follow up? He is afraid for his health.
The answer to this question depends on many factors. First, you have always have the right to private consultations with your doctor. Thus if you are truly uncomfortable with your boyfriend being there, then you can do it alone. Keep in mind though that HIV is a reportable disease. This means that the doctor must report to the department of health in your state that you have HIV and they then are obligated to contact any sexual partners that you have. Since your boyfriend already knows you have HIV, this is not an important factor. I would suggest from my own experience with patients in your position that you have your boyfriend attend the appointment. The two of you can gain information together by having an open conversation with your doctor. Your boyfriend needs tested for HIV, and this conversation may help convince him that this needs done. In addition, the two of you together can learn about strategies to help reduce the likelihood of transmission and learn about intimate activities that carry very low risks of transmission. Today's treatments for HIV are good enough that as long as you take your medications, it is possible that you can keep the virus at bay indefinitely. The best type of doctor for you to see is an infectious disease specialist. Good luck.