The relationship you have with your doctor is one of the guiding elements of your HIV care and it is built on communication.

Your HIV healthcare team is there to help you achieve your best possible health-related quality of life, but you also play a big part in making that happen. That’s why building relationships with your healthcare team that focus on open communication are so important.

Discussing any priorities or concerns you have with your HIV care can be uncomfortable at first but engaging with your doctor and having these open conversations is a great way to empower yourself. It also enables you to focus on all aspects of your health, including your quality of life.

An appointment with your doctor is a great opportunity to discuss your treatment, including issues of:

  • treatment adherence

  • side effects

  • changes in priorities

  • long-term concerns


At your appointments, it’s always a good idea to talk about how your health has been, how you’re feeling in yourself and how you’ve coped with taking your medicines. Remember, you are best positioned to talk about your health experience and the health outcomes you discuss can help your doctor to work better with you.

Tools are available to help guide conversations between you and your doctor. You may have already read about patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) in our Focusing on Quality of Life section. PROMs can help you and your doctor to understand your health-related quality of life, which can help guide discussions and decisions about your HIV care.

Whether you want to discuss your physical, psychological, social, or functional wellbeing, PROMs are a great starting point to facilitate discussing your health priorities and concerns with your doctor.

One PROM used in Australia for HIV care is the PozQoL Scale. It is a scale specifically designed to measure quality of life among people with HIV. PROMs like PozQoL can benefit by helping to:1–3

  • Better understand the needs of people with HIV, including concerns about sensitive problems.

  • Improve the quality of HIV care and services provided to people with HIV.

  • Inform decisions to improve health outcomes and quality of life for people with HIV.

Learn more about PROMs, accessing PozQoL, and how they can help you better understand your quality of life


  1. Lazarus JV et al. Nat Commun. 2021; 12(1): 4450.
  2. Brown G et al. BMC Public Health. 2018; 18(1): 527.
  3. PozQoL. PozQoL – Valuing quality of life among people with HIV. Available at: Accessed February 2022.

NP-AU-HVU-WCNT-220004 | March 2022