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Should Your Doctor Be An HIV Specialist Or A Primary Care Physician?
People with HIV in Atlanta often struggle with the type of doctor they should have. On the one hand, you are simply going to get better care from HIV specialists who have experience treating people at all stages of the disease. The complex nature of HIV, the pace of new drugs coming online, the expanding treatment protocols, and the individual response to medications make HIV one of the most complicated conditions to treat. The only way to stay ahead of the curve is to understand what is likely to work for one person but not another. Also, to have a large patient base so you can see the fluctuations, respond quickly, and develop new paths to wellness.
Because HIV treatment is so effective, it helps many to lead a normal life. In fact, HIV treatment is so effective that once patients gets stabilized with the right combination of meds, they’ll be seeing their doctors more for non-HIV related conditions than anything concerning their HIV. If you see a doctor who ONLY specializes in HIV, you could be shortchanging your other health needs.
You can have the best of both worlds. We’re primary care physicians who specialize in HIV. As Internal Medicine and HIV specialists who’ve treated thousands of men with HIV, we can tell you there is a great advantage to having all your medical needs treated under one roof. The convenience factor alone is worth it—you don’t have to ping-pong between two doctors, saving yourself an enormous drain on time and resources. More importantly, the synergy between typical healthcare needs and specialized HIV treatment means better outcomes.
If You Can’t Get Help With Us
We’ll Help You Get Help Somewhere.
We want you to get the best possible care even if it isn’t with us. It’s difficult to get treatment from a private practice if you don’t have insurance and often even the insured don’t get to choose their preferred doctor. If that’s the case with you, we’d like to help with a few suggestions.
How To Find An HIV Doctor In Atlanta If You Don’t Have Insurance
Each of these organizations help with the prevention and treatment of HIV in Atlanta. Click on their sites and they’ll show you how to get help.
Choosing An HIV Doctor In Atlanta If You Have Insurance
Obviously, the doctor you choose should be knowledgeable about HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and have a lot of experience treating patients with HIV and AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). There’s an easy way to find out how experienced your HIV doctor might be: Ask them how many HIV patients they’ve treated.
Personality is another thing to consider when choosing an HIV doctor in Atlanta. Do you feel at ease with the doctor? Can you talk comfortably? Is he or she looking at his computer when they talk to you or looking straight into your eyes? Your doctor’s personality, approach, and responsiveness is a critical component to good care.
Always interview as many doctors as you can to find the best fit. During the interviews I suggest you also ask the following questions:
Questions To ASK
- Does the doctor want you to take an active part in decision-making or does he or she prefer a more traditional doctor-patient relationship?
- Do you want a doctor who is aggressive about treatment — encouraging you to try new drugs or participate in research trials or do you want a doctor with a more conservative bent?
- Does your doctor believe in complementary care like vitamin therapies or homeopathy? If that’s what you believe in you should seek out a doctor that shares your beliefs.
- Is your doctor board-certified in Internal Medicine? Does he specialize in HIV?
- What is the average wait time for appointments? How long does it take for him or her to return phone calls?
- Does the doctor have a solid referral base of specialists?
How to Find an Atlanta HIV/AIDS Doctor Who’s In Your Network
If you already have a primary care physician with whom you feel comfortable, find out if this person also has the skills and experience to be your HIV/AIDS doctor. If not, they can refer you to a specialist. If you need to find a new HIV/AIDS doctor, and don’t know where to begin, here are a few ideas to help you get started:
- Contact a local HIV/AIDS organization for the names of several doctors (see below for a great list of care providers).
- Contact your insurance provider for doctors in Atlanta with HIV experience.
- Search The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). They represent physicians, scientists and other healthcare professionals who specialize in infectious diseases. They promote excellence in patient care, education, research, public health, and prevention relating to infectious diseases. You can find excellent HIV doctors in Atlanta by accessing their Atlanta HIV Physician Directory.
Valuable Resources To Educate Yourself on HIV
These are reliable sources that will give you the facts on different issues:
It would be our privilege to keep you healthy for the rest of your life. If that’s possible call us right now at 404-888-0228 and set up an appointment. If it’s not, know that we care about you getting the best possible care somewhere. To that end we sincerely hope we’ve given you enough options on this page to help.
To your health!
T. Douglas Gurley MD