What must I do to maintain my HIV care?
Use your HIV medication as prescribed. This will support maintaining a low viral load and high CD4 count.
Take your HIV medication exactly as your doctor instructs—at scheduled times of the day, with or without specific kinds of foods.
Keep a record of your schedule and prescriptions.
If you have concerns about when or how to take your medication, or if you notice any side effects, consult your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.
Remain on time for medical appointments, mark the days of your appointments on a calendar on your phone, and set reminders.
Install a reminder app on your phone to help you remember your doctor’s appointments.
Keep your appointment card in a visible location.
To help you remember your appointment, ask a relative or acquaintance.
Be Open-Minded with Your Healthcare Professional
To manage your care and treatment, your healthcare provider must have access to the most up-to-date information.
You should jot down any inquiries you have for your doctor. Prepare a notepad with the answers.
Monitor your lab results, doctor’s appointments, and care and treatment schedules.
What can I anticipate from a medical appointment?
Make sure the people who are in charge of your health have your correct contact information.
Your doctor may ask you questions and perform standard physical exams during your appointment to determine how HIV is affecting your body.
To examine your viral load, your doctor could take a sample of your blood.
Inquire about your medical background.
Search for further infections or medical issues. Your body may become weaker due to certain health issues, your HIV may worsen, or your treatment may not be effective.
Get your immunizations, if you need them.
Your HIV medication is discussed, prescribed, and monitored.
Discuss techniques to make sure you stick to your HIV treatment schedule.
Identify any additional support you might require.
Discuss HIV prevention strategies with your injection or sexual partners, and inquire about their health.
What are the many tests I can use to check on my HIV status?
Blood tests will be used by your doctor to check on your HIV infection. These tests assist your doctor in deciding whether to alter your course of treatment.
Your CD4 count measures the quantity of CD4 cells in your blood. Your body’s immune system is aided by CD4 cells.
Your blood’s CD4 cell count is decreased by HIV infection. Your body has a harder time fighting infections as a result.
Every three to six months, a member of your medical team will check your CD4 count.
Test of Viral Load
The level of HIV in your blood is called the viral load.
A viral load test will be used by your doctor to ascertain your viral load.
Your body contains more HIV when your viral load is high. This indicates that your immune system is not effectively battling HIV.
A viral load test should be performed every 4 to 6 months, prior to starting a new HIV medication, and 2 to 8 weeks after beginning or switching medications.