Build a Trusting Relationship With Your Health Care Professional

Whether you've just begun treatment or you're on your second or third regimen, your health care professional can be your best partner in the fight against HIV.

You might feel uncomfortable discussing some intimate details about yourself. But he or she needs to hear how your HIV treatment might be affecting the way you live. Remember, health care professionals are there to help, not judge.

  • There are no wrong questions—Ask what your lab results mean, about treatments that may be right for you, or anything that's on your mind.
  • Listen carefully—Treatment can only work if medicines are taken when and how your health care professional prescribes.
  • Talk about side effects—If you think you might be having any side effects, you need to let your health care professionals know.
  • Keep a journal—Write down how you're feeling to help remember important details and report that information to your health care professional.
  • Think long term—Some HIV medicines may have long-term side effects, which may increase your risk for certain diseases. Your family's medical history may also put you more at risk for certain conditions. It's important to share that information with your health care professional so he or she can determine which medicines may be right for you.
  • Be honest if you use alcohol or drugs, because both can interfere with HIV treatment.

The more openly and honestly you can talk about every part of your life, the better your health care professionals can keep you on a course of HIV treatment that works best for you.

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