How Can You Work Best with Your Health Care Team?
HIV treatment is most successful when you actively take part in your medical care. That means taking your HIV medications every time, at the right time, and in the right way; keeping your medical appointments; and communicating honestly with your health care provider. This can be achieved when you:
- Keep all of your medical appointments. There are many tools you can use to help you remember and prepare for your appointments. You can:
- Use a calendar to mark your appointment days.
- Set reminders on your phone.
- Download a free app from the Internet to your computer or smartphone that can help remind you of your medical appointments. Search for “reminder apps” and you will find many choices.
- Keep your appointment card reminder in a place where you will see it often, such as on a mirror, or on your refrigerator.
- Ask a family member or friend to help you remember your appointment.
- Be prepared for your medical appointments. Before an appointment, write down questions or concerns you want to discuss with your health care provider. Be prepared to write down the answers you receive during your visit.
- If you can’t keep a scheduled appointment, contact your provider to let them know, and make a new appointment as soon as possible.
- Communicate openly and honestly with your health care providers. Your health care provider needs to have the most accurate information to manage your care and treatment.
- Keep track of your medical services. You may have multiple health care providers working on your health care team. Keep records of your lab results, medical visits, appointment dates and times, medicines and medicine schedules, and care and treatment plans.
- Update your contact information. Make sure your health care providers have your correct contact information (telephone number, address, and e-mail address) and let them know if any contact information changes.
Need inspiration? You can view stories and testimonials of people living with HIV who are working with their health care team to stay in care and on treatment by visiting Positive Spin or by visiting CDC’s HIV Treatment Works campaign.