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Checklist to prepare for your next consultation

Many nurses advise you to list your questions before going to your consultation. This helps you to be well prepared and means you don’t think after the consultation: ‘Idiot, I wanted to ask something else.’ A checklist to prepare you for your next consultation:

Will you take someone along to the consultation?

Two heads are better than one, especially if the consultation is emotionally charged, if a difficult subject is being discussed, or if you don't have full command of the language. And make sure you question anything you don't understand! Your health is important enough. 

If you bring someone along, you can ask them to observe how you conduct yourself during the consultation.

Want to make an audio recording of the conversation?

So much that is important to you may be discussed. That way you can listen to it again at home. We definitely recommend you ask your doctor or nurse for permission before the consultation starts. You need permission from the healthcare provider to share it, e.g. on social media.

Blood test results

Can you check the online results of the blood test beforehand? Do you have any questions about them? Would you like the healthcare professional to go through the results with you? Or would you rather spend that time discussing something else?

Your health in the recent past

▢ Do you feel fit and healthy? 

▢ Are you experiencing symptoms you think might be linked to HIV or the medication?

▢ Are you worried there might be something else going on besides HIV? 

▢ Have you already discussed your long-term symptoms properly with your internist or HIV counsellor? 

Your mental health

▢ Are you comfortable in your own skin? 

▢ Do you feel down, or have any other psychological problems? 

▢ Can you cope with this on your own, do you have a support network, or do you feel you need professional help?

Other chronic conditions, if you have any

▢ Are these well taken care of?

▢ Do you wonder if HIV will affect them, or be affected by them?

Your HIV medication

▢ Are you managing to take your medication every day as prescribed? 

▢ Are you satisfied with your current medication? 

▢ Do you think could benefit from switching to another medication?

Your lifestyle

▢ Are you satisfied with your current lifestyle? 

▢ Or would you like to change certain aspects and lead a healthier life? 

▢ If you want to adjust certain aspects of your lifestyle, can you manage that yourself or do you need support?

Healthier living?

Stopping or cutting down on smoking, alcohol or drugs?

A healthier weight?

Healthier eating?

Getting enough exercise?

Running less risk of contracting an STI? 

Your future

▢ Are you confident about the future? Or are you worried about something?

▢ Do you have questions about the effect of years of living with the HIV virus, or years of taking HIV medication?