Should HIV positive people get immunodeficiency consultations?
My HIV test came back positive. I am a 34 year old male. Does it makes sense to have a consultation about my immune system right now or is the next step more general?
All patients that are newly HIV positive should establish a relationship, and have regular visits with an infectious disease specialist. An infections disease doctor is an internal medicine doctor who has done a few years of extra training specifically in treating people with infections. Treating an HIV positive patient can be complicated for a general doctor. This is because today there are many different types of HIV medications that can be given in many different combinations. HIV positive patients are now able to keep their infection at bay for an indefinite time period because of these advanced medications. Thus since this infection can be controlled now for decades, you should see someone who knows how to do it. Keep in mind that your infectious disease doctor may not start you on anti-HIV medications right away. He or she may prefer to observe your viral counts and white blood cell counts for a while before getting you started. In addition, you doctor can discuss methods of preventing transmission of the virus to any sexual partners that you have. The two of you should also discuss what you should expect going forward with respect to your health and your HIV infection. Good luck with your consultation.
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