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HIV & AIDS Health Center

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HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) Infection - When To Call a Doctor

Watchful waiting

If you don't have symptoms of HIV even though you have tested positive for the virus, you and your doctor may simply keep watching for symptoms to occur.

If you don't show any signs of disease and your CD4+ cell count is more than 500 cells per microliter (mcL), you may not need treatment. But during this time you still need regular checkups with a doctor to monitor the amount of HIV in your blood and see how well your immune system is working.

Who to see

Health professionals who can diagnose and may treat HIV include:

HIV can also be diagnosed and treated at an HIV care clinic.

Complications of HIV may require treatment by the following doctors:

If you don't have a doctor

Public health clinics and other organizations may provide free or low-cost, confidential testing and counseling about HIV and high-risk behavior.

If you don't have a doctor, contact one of the following for information on HIV testing in your area:

  • Your county or state health department
  • Local AIDS organization
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 24-hour information hotline: 1-800-232-INFO (1-800-CDC-4636). Or see the CDC National HIV Testing Resources website at
  • National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) hotline: 1-866-846-9366 (toll-free). Or see the NAPWA website at
  • U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) toll-free HIV hotline: 1-800-HIV-0440 (1-800-448-0440). Or see the NIH AIDS website at

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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