It’s important to remember that your HIV care is focused on improving your overall health and helping you to thrive.

Beyond viral suppression, your HIV care should include a focus on quality of life. Your health-related quality of life is your perceived level of wellbeing and health across a range of areas in your life and it is an important component of your healthcare.1
 

Engaging with your doctor

Understanding your level of overall health-related quality of life and even individual components such as your physical health or social relationships, can better inform your doctor about what supports to offer you. Knowing your health-related quality of life can also help you and your doctor to make decisions around your care, addressing any concerns you may have about your treatment and finding a care regimen that supports your overall health goals. It is important to be involved in your HIV care because being actively involved in decision making can lead to more favourable health outcomes.1,2

Maintain open communication with your doctor Maintain open communication with your doctor

Measuring quality of life

One way your doctor can record your health-related quality of life is with a health scale called a patient-reported outcome measure (PROM). This is a series of questions about your experience with HIV and how it affects your health.

The benefits of using PROMs are that they focus on what matters to you and give your doctor a better understanding of your health, which allows them to make better decisions with you about your care. PROMs are also a useful tool for enhancing communication between you and your doctor, and can be repeated to record health outcomes over time.

There are a range of PROMs used in Australia. One PROM designed specifically for use in HIV is the PozQoL Scale.3 This is a short, easy-to-use scale that includes 13 questions about your experience across areas of psychological, social, health concerns and functional wellbeing. You can talk to your doctor about using PROMs like PozQoL to better understand your health-related quality of life and take an active role in shaping your HIV care.

Empower yourself with communication

Learn how to empower yourself to have open conversations with your healthcare team

Get started

References

  1. Lazarus JV et al. BMC Med. 2016; 14(1): 94.
  2. ViiV Healthcare. Positive Perspectives Study, Wave 2 Results Report. June 2021. Available at: https://viivhealthcare.com/content/dam/cf-viiv/viivhealthcare/en_GB/files/030821-updated-pp2-report-approved.pdf Accessed November 2021.
  3. Brown G et al. BMC Public Health. 2018; 18(1): 527.

NP-AU-HVU-WCNT-220003 | March 2022