How To Prepare For Your
AIDS Medical Appointment
We all know that medical professional are busy people. Sometimes we can feel that we are rushed in and out with
hardly the time to get answers to our questions and concerns are left unanswered. It may help to prepare
ahead of time so that when you are face to face with your doctor or health care professional,
you can get the most out of your appointment. Here is a list of ideas to help you prepare better for your next
Keep a journal that you can jot down thoughts or questions that come to you as you go about your daily
Record in your journal things like: Any new symptoms or health issues that you have experienced since your last
medical visit. Be specific about when the symptom started, how long the symptom lasts, how serious you think the
symptom may be, and how intense it is.
Be specific in your journal concerning things like: how you are sleeping, your eating habits, any stomach
upsets, are you having trouble concentrating? Are you experiencing any emotional upsets or anxieties?
Record in your journal any new or different side effects that you may be having to your medications and how long
you have been noticing them.
Make sure you make a list of any vitamins or other supplements that you would like to take or are taking. Your
doctor needs to know about any drug, supplement or herb that you are taking or thinking about taking so he/she can
evaluate how it will affect your current medications or what affect/improvement it may have on your disease.
Let your health care provider know about any alternative therapies that you may be considering.
Did You Know?
There are some ways you cannot get AIDS! Many of these myths persisted for years
after scientists proved AIDS could not be transferred in these ways.
You cannot get AIDS from food or water. Again, it is only transferred by sexual
contact or contact with body fluids of an individual who has HIV or AIDS. Yes, I know there was a
myth flying around you could get AIDS by getting a mosquito bite, but again this is not true.
Insects and animals cannot transfer the virus to a human. It is fine to adopt a pet from a person
who has AIDS. Giving blood cannot give you AIDS.
The danger is in receiving tainted blood that has been donated by someone who has
AIDS. Since 1985, this has been rare because all donated blood is run through tests to insure it is
not infected with HIV. It is safe to give blood because all medical equipment used is sterilized
Last, you cannot get AIDS from having every-day contact with a person suffering
from AIDS. Shaking hands, giving a hug, or being in the same room with an AIDS patient will not
cause you to be infected.
It is important to inform your health care provider anytime you have a change in address, employment,
relationships, or any other non-HIV health issue, no matter how small you think it is. Anything may have an impact
on your AIDS treatment.
Even if you do not have time to discuss everything you have written down at your next visit. Having a journal
will give the doctor a chance to skim over it and you can also you it to remind yourself of important things that
you really want to bring up at your visit.
If you are switching doctors and this is the first time with the new one; bring any medications and supplements
that you are taking with you to your appointment along with any lab reports or test results from your previous
Researchers are looking into new classes of AIDS drugs that will prevent the virus
from getting into the cells.
Instead of suppressing the virus from multiplying itself, it is a drug that will
stop the virus from reaching the healthy cells.
These medications can be safer and more effective but more testing and research
needs to be done before they are available.
Your medical provider, the staff and of course you are all a team in your quest to manage your AIDS
disease. Communication during and in-between appointments is a very important aspect of your care. A journal will
help you to remember all the important information concerning symptoms, your medications, any alternative therapies
you may have discovered since your last visit and any concerns your family or friends may have expressed to you as