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Talking to your healthcare team

Talking to your healthcare team

If you, like many other people, find it difficult to gather your thoughts during a healthcare appointment, you may find planning ahead helpful to make sure you make the most of the time you have available.

How to plan ahead for a healthcare appointment:

  1. Think about how you’ve been feeling over the last month or more, rather than just on the day of the appointment. Perhaps you’ve experienced treatment side-effects or mood changes that you want to discuss
  2. Use an app to log your mood and symptoms and make a note of things to discuss at your next appointment
  3. Write down questions to ask on any aspect of your wellbeing or your future such as  family planning advice, how to talk to partners or colleagues about your HIV status or whether you are at risk of other conditions
  4. You can also take a short quiz on this page that will generate suggestions on questions to ask your healthcare team
More tips for talking to your healthcare team

More tips for talking to your healthcare team

  • Write down a list of questions and concerns before your appointment. For example, four simple questions you can ask regardless of your age or the length of time you have been living with HIV include:
    • Does living with HIV or any of my lifestyle factors put me at increased risk of ______?
    • What changes should I make to my lifestyle or treatment choices?
    • Can I be screened or tested?
    • What signs or symptoms should I look out for?
  • Consider bringing a close friend or family member to your appointment or reach out to a local support group for advice or ask to accompany you
  • Take notes about what your healthcare team says, or ask a friend or family member to take notes for you
  • Ask your healthcare team to talk you through your test results, which include:
    • HIV viral load
    • CD4 count or CD4 percentage
    • Vitamin D and/or calcium
    • Blood sugar (glucose)
    • Cholesterol
    • How well your kidneys are working
    • How well your liver is working
    • Blood pressure