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What is HIV AIDS Specialist?

1. Who Is an HIV/AIDS Specialist?

HIV/AIDS specialists are doctors who manage and provide care to HIV positive and AIDS patients. To become an HIV/AIDS specialist, after graduating from medical school, a doctor completes a residency program in internal medicine, followed by fellowship training in infectious diseases and further training in HIV/AIDS.

HIV/AIDS doctors manage the overall care of patients with HIV/AIDs. They provide antiretroviral therapy (ART), monitor the progress of the disease, work to prevent and treat other infections or health problems, help patients follow their treatment plan, provide education to help prevent further transmission of the disease, and help HIV/AIDs patients manage their overall health.

HIV/AIDS doctors work closely with other specialists including primary care physicians, nurses, dentists, physician assistants, dietitians, social workers, and others as an HIV care team. The care team manages care and provides support to the patient with HIV/AIDs. There are many online STD consultation services for more advice.

2. When Should I See an HIV/AIDS Specialist?

Your primary care provider may refer you to an HIV/AIDS specialist if you test positive for HIV. People infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may first experience flu-like symptoms such as:

• Swollen lymph nodes
• Fever and chills
• Headache
• Sore throat
• Mouth or genital ulcers
• Fatigue
• Diarrhea
Symptoms may worsen with time as complications occur, including opportunistic infections and certain cancers like Kaposi sarcoma. These may include:
• Worsening headaches
• High fever and chills
• Shortness of breath and persistent cough
• Chills and night sweats
• Mouth ulcers
• Skin rashes, blotches, or growths
• Abdominal pain
• Vision problems
• Severe fatigue
• Weight loss
• Cognitive problems
• Seizures
• Coma

HIV-positive women who might become pregnant should talk to their provider about the risks for their health and that of the baby.

3. What Kinds of Tests Does an HIV/AIDS Specialist Perform or Recommend?

Your HIV/AIDS specialist may request one or more of the following tests:

• HIV serology
• Complete blood count and blood chemistry including liver function tests and renal function tests
• Urine tests
• HIV viral load test
• T lymphocyte tests: CD4 and CD8 count
• Drug resistance tests
• STD screening (syphilis, herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, others)
• Hepatitis A, B, and C tests
• Tuberculosis test
• Toxoplasmosis screening
• Pap smear
• Chest X-ray

4. What Questions Should I Ask an HIV/AIDS Specialist?

You can call STD helpline for an advice or ask an hiv doctor online these kinds of questions:

• Do I need more tests to confirm the HIV infection?
• How much experience do you have in treating people with HIV/AIDS?
• How is HIV infection going to affect me?
• What are my treatment options? Are there any risks or side effects involved with the treatment?
• Are there any other alternative treatment options?
• Should I continue taking my other medicines?
• Will my condition affect my work or other routine activities? Can I exercise, work, or travel?
• Do I need any special diet or supplements?
• Should I start taking anti-HIV drugs? Do I have to take them all my life? What are the side effects of anti-HIV drugs?
• Do I need to get vaccinated for other diseases?
• What lifestyle changes should I make to stay healthy?
• How can I prevent complications and opportunistic infections?
• What precautions should I take during sex?
• What precautions should I take if I plan to have a baby? Do I need to have a C-section? Can I breastfeed my baby? Is this infection going to affect my child?
• Are other people in my family at risk of getting this infection from me? How can I protect them and others from getting HIV/AIDS?
• Should I inform my previous sexual partners and drug-use partners about my HIV positive status?
• How can I learn more about this condition?
• What are some support groups in my area for people with HIV/AIDs?
• What signs should I be watchful for? What are signs and symptoms that indicate a medical emergency?
• How often should I go for testing and checkups?