Questions to Ask Your Doctor

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  • I have symptoms, and I'm worried that I might have HIV or AIDS.
  • I have HIV or AIDS, and this is a checkup or follow-up visit.
  • I have HIV or AIDS, and I'm sick or having problems.

I have symptoms, and I'm worried that I might have HIV or AIDS.

What should  I do?

Reviewed by Jonathan E. Kaplan, MD on March 21, 2018

  1. Call your doctor.  Depending on what your symptoms are, your doctor may recommend coming in for an appointment, or perhaps seeking more urgent care.  Your symptoms may or may not be related to HIV or AIDS.
  2. No matter what your symptoms are, just being concerned about HIV and AIDS is sufficient to get an HIV blood test.  In fact, the current recommendation in the United States is that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 who seeks health care for any reason should be tested for HIV at least once.  Your doctor should be able to test you for HIV or refer you to a place where HIV testing can be done.
  3. Testing for HIV will require your consent.   Whoever tests you for HIV should be able to counsel you about the meaning of the HIV test before you have it.  Testing is done confidentially..
  4. If you test HIV positive, it is important that you get medical care from a doctor knowledgeable about HIV.  HIV testing sites can inform you about HIV care providers in your area.
  5. If you test HIV positive, you should inform persons with whom you have had sexual contact or have shared drug-using equipment, so that they also can get tested for HIV.

I have HIV or AIDS, and this is a checkup or follow-up visit.

What to Ask Your Doctor

Reviewed by Jonathan E. Kaplan, MD on March 21, 2018

  1. Should I be tested for HIV-related infections?
  2. Should I begin treatment?
  3. What are the side effects of HIV/AIDS medications?
  4. How will I know if the medications are working?
  5. How can I avoid transmitting the AIDS virus?

I have HIV or AIDS, and I'm sick or having problems.

What to Ask Your Doctor

Reviewed by Jonathan E. Kaplan, MD on March 21, 2018

  1. Are my new problems related to HIV or AIDS?
  2. Do I have a condition not related to HIV that should be treated?
  3. Should I have additional tests done?
  4. Are my problems a side effect of HIV/AIDS medications?
  5. Are my medications controlling the virus? Should I change medications?