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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 www.hivtest.org.
  • National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) hotline: 1-866-846-9366 (toll-free). Or see the NAPWA website at www.napwa.org.
  • 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 www.aidsinfo.nih.gov.

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

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 13, 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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