You & Your Doctor

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You & Your Doctor
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You & Your Doctor

One of the most important tools that you have in fighting HIV disease is your relationship with your doctor and other health care providers. It's worth spending time looking for the right doctor, and being ruthless about changing doctors who don't work for you. Studies have shown that a person with HIV whose doctor treats lots of other people living with HIV/AIDS lives longer than a person whose doctor only treats a few HIV patients. In other words, if at all possible, find a doctor who specializes in treating HIV!

If you don't know where to go or who to ask for advice on finding a doctor with lots of experience treating people with HIV, then try contacting your local AIDS service organization—they usually have a list of recommended doctors in your area. You can get the name and number of your local AIDS service organization from our online directory, the internet’s most comprehensive guide to HIV care and services, featuring thousands of organizations nationwide—all searchable by zip code, company name, organization type, service provided and groups served.

Talk to your doctor and other members of your health care team, including physician assistants and nurses —make sure you feel comfortable with them. If you don't feel comfortable asking questions or discussing your most personal stuff with your care provider (your sex life, any drugs you're using, your bowel habits, the weird growth in your groin, or your recurrent yeast infections) then maybe you should find someone else who is easier to talk to. Remember—your doctor works for you. Would you hire a plumber who made you feel uncomfortable discussing your sink?

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Last Revised: June 24, 2011

This content is written by the POZ and AIDSmeds editorial team. For more information, please visit our "About Us" page.

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