Learning more about HIV infection and how to care for yourself will allow you to actively share in your health care decisions. Most doctors who treat people with this disease believe that those who are well-informed are better able to fully take part in their medical care decisions.
You will feel more in control of your life if you understand:
- How HIV infection progresses.
- Which medicines are available to fight the HIV infection (antiretroviral therapy).
- Treatment (vaccines and other medicines) to help prevent opportunistic infections.
- Symptoms to watch for that may mean an opportunistic infection is developing.
- Treatment to control opportunistic infections.
- Self-care to prevent infections.
- Lifestyle changes that may promote health.
Knowledge about HIV infection is changing rapidly. Ask your doctor about how and where you can get more information, or contact one of the organizations listed in the Other Places to Get Help section of the topic Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infection. Discuss any questions you have with your doctor.
By Healthwise Staff Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine Specialist Medical Reviewer Peter Shalit, MD, PhD - Internal Medicine Last Revised April 5, 2012