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 think you were exposed to HIV?
- What are your symptoms?
- Do you have risk factors, such as participating in unprotected anal sex or using intravenous drugs?
- What 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.
May 20, 2014
- Have only protected sexual intercourse.
- Inject drugs with a clean needle only, and don't share it with others.
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- Natural medicines in the clinical management of HIV/AIDS. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Dec. 8, 2013.
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- Preexposure prophylaxis for the prevention of HIV infection in the United States — 2014 clinical practice guideline. Atlanta, Ga. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/guidelines/PrEPguidelines2014.pdf?elq=0a349f52dfa74f48ae554056bc0e027e&elqCampaignId=8040. Accessed May 16, 2014.
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