Before your HIV appointment, it’s a good idea to think about what you want to get out of it:
- Write down any questions you want to ask
- Make a note of any HIV symptoms or side effects you have been experiencing
- Think about any other aspects of your physical and emotional health you want to mention e.g. recreational drug use, stress, anxiety
- It is also useful to know the names of your medications, both antiretroviral (ARV) and any others
If you are experiencing any symptoms, it could be helpful to do some research to see whether they could be related to your HIV medication. Here are some tips for researching your symptoms:2
- Speak to other people living with HIV to see if they’ve experienced anything similar
- If you have access to the internet, do a simple search to get some basic information using reputable sites such as HIV i-base , NAM Aidsmap or The Body
Remember, these sites are not diagnostic tools, but they can provide you with useful information and further sources of support.
Even though your doctor will do their best not to rush you, most appointments only last a short period of time, so you’ll need to prioritise.
Focussing on one or two main issues per appointment is a good idea as this will give your doctor enough time to deal with them more effectively.
Try not to wait until the end of the appointment to ask important questions. If you have something that is really concerning you, talk about it first.