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One of the most important relationships for a woman living with HIV is the one she has with her doctor. (This might also be a nurse practitioner, or physician assistant, or other person on your health care team.) This relationship can have a big impact on your well-being and how well you will do with your treatment. The doctor can work with you to create the best treatment plan for you. He or she can give support and help you face challenges. Your regular doctor or trained HIV counselor can help you find a specialist with experience treating HIV and AIDS. A doctor who specializes in HIV/AIDS can provide comfort during this time. He or she may also give you referrals to programs offering social support, housing, case management, and other services. The specialist may have a team at the clinic who can help you with some of these issues. When choosing an HIV doctor, you should feel comfortable with her and have faith in her abilities. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, this is especially important.
Even though you will find a doctor to help you with your HIV, over time you will still need to see a doctor for other health issues. If you do use multiple doctors, they must work as a team and communicate with each other. Some questions you may want to ask a doctor who specializes in HIV include:
Building a good HIV care team is just one step in improving your health with HIV/AIDS. Being a proactive patient is vital. Always give your doctor as much information as you can. Be honest about whether you are taking your medications on time. Tell your doctor about your side effects. Be honest about sex and whether you are using protection. Come prepared to each doctor appointment. Learn more about How to Talk to Your Doctor or Nurse (PDF, 193 KB).
Content last updated: July 01, 2011.