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HIV 101
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Medical Care
Seeking Medical Care

Once you find a doctor or clinic, your main objective is to get an evaluation of your general health and immune function. Many doctors do the following:

  1. Administer lab tests to evaluate your immune system.
  2. Determine if you have other diseases that might become problematic in the future, including syphilis, TB, hepatitis-B, MAI, and toxoplasmosis.
  3. If you are already infected with one or more of these other illnesses, there may be treatments or prophylaxis available to prevent it from becoming more serious or recurring in the future. If you're not already infected, doctors may be able to prevent future infection by:

    a) administering vaccines. Many HIV positive people get a hepatitis-B vaccine and bacterial pneumonia vaccines, since contracting these diseases could be dangerous for immune suppressed people.

    b) prescribing antiviral treatments and protease inhibitors when tests show immune system impairment.

  4. Scheduling regular checkups. Checkups may be scheduled every three to six months. Some people need more frequent check-ups, particularly when they are starting new antiviral drugs.
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