Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If you think you might have HIV infection, you're likely to start by seeing your family doctor. You may be referred to an infectious disease specialist.

What you can do

Before your appointment, you might want to write a list answering the following questions:

  • How do you believe you might have been exposed to HIV?
  • What types of symptoms do you have?
  • Do you have any risk factors, such as participating in unprotected anal sex or using intravenous drugs?
  • What types of prescription drugs or supplements do you take?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor will ask you questions about your health and lifestyle. He or she will also conduct a thorough physical exam, checking you for:

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Lesions on your skin or in your mouth
  • Neurological problems
  • Abnormal sounds in your lungs
  • Enlarged organs in your abdomen

What you can do in the meantime

If you think you might have HIV infection, there are some precautions you can take to protect yourself and others before your appointment.

  • Have only protected sexual intercourse.
  • Inject drugs with a clean needle only, and don't share it with others.
Aug. 11, 2012