A little advice before you go:

  • Write down all of the questions you have about HIV (click here for some suggestions).
  • It's important that you take an active role in your relationship with your doctor.
  • Be open and honest during this and every appointment.
  • Make sure to ask all the questions you may have. If you don’t understand an answer, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor to explain things in a different way.

Your doctor will need to know a few things about your life before you begin any medication therapy. Complete this form and bring it with you on your first visit. This information will help your doctor choose medications that fit into your lifestyle and schedule.

Your first appointment may take some time.

Expect your first appointment to take longer than other medical visits you've had. Your doctor will probably want to complete a full physical exam, including screening for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Most likely, your doctor will prescribe medications and want you to begin treatment, even if you don’t have any symptoms. You will be scheduled to be seen on a regular basis. Before you leave, make sure all of your questions are answered.

Don’t be afraid to talk about costs. If you’re on a budget and worried about how much your medications will cost, let them know. There are patient assistance programs you can access to cover the cost of your medications or your provider may be able to prescribe lower-priced alternative medications.