The Newly Diagnosed Patient’s Guide to HIV

A diagnosis of a life-threatening disease is never easy to cope with. If your gynecologist has recently informed you that your HIV test was positive, you may experience strong emotions that mimic the grieving process. It’s important to arm yourself with accurate information, sound medical guidance, and strong social support during this time. Remember that being HIV positive is not the same as having AIDS. With the right medical care, you can still live life on your own terms.

Find a qualified specialist.

After a positive test result, the first step is to find a doctor to coordinate your care. Your gynecologist may offer some recommendations or you can check with your health insurance carrier. Local HIV/AIDS support organizations can also be helpful for finding physician referrals. Choose a doctor who is board certified in internal medicine and has an infectious disease subspecialty. Some doctors specialize in treating HIV patients.

Get an HIV baseline evaluation.

An HIV baseline evaluation is an exhaustive medical assessment. The HIV specialist will use information secured through a baseline evaluation to assess the progression of the infection and develop a treatment plan. The evaluation includes a physical exam, medical history review, and multiple lab tests.

Begin your HIV treatment.

Early treatment is crucial for HIV patients, but your HIV specialist will take the time to ensure you are able to comply with the treatment requirements first. Once you start taking the medications, you’ll have to be committed to taking them every day for the rest of your life. If you anticipate any problems, such as inadequate health insurance, you should discuss your concerns with the doctor as soon as possible.

At Washington Surgi-Clinic, we understand that women often come to us for gynecology services during very difficult times in their lives . If you need an HIV test in the Washington, D.C. area, you’ll find our clinic to be a warm, welcoming, and supportive place that maintains strict standards of patient confidentiality. Call us today at (202) 659-9403.