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Poll

How often do you go to your doc for a routine visit?

Every 2 months
3 (6.4%)
Every 3 months
19 (40.4%)
Every 4 months
11 (23.4%)
Every 6 months
10 (21.3%)
More/less often
4 (8.5%)

Total Members Voted: 47

Author Topic: Going to the doc every 6 months?  (Read 3068 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline newbie76

  • Member
  • Posts: 238
Going to the doc every 6 months?
« on: June 17, 2009, 02:11:34 AM »
Hi!
I always go for my HIV check-ups together with my bf and he hates going to the clinic as he doesn't want to think about HIV.

So yesterday I asked our doc if he thought we could see him only twice a year (every 6 months) whereas until now we have been going once every 4 months.

He said yes, as long as we keep a good adherence (both 100% so far), and contact the clinic should we develop anything HIV related.

I am a bit concerned now... do you think going and have a blood test once every 6 months is enough?

We are both on Atripla; you can see my stats below and my bf's CD4 is fluctuating around 500 (27%) both undetectable.

It would be interesting learning how often you go to see your doctor for the routine bloodwork/checkup
25th Apr 07: The worst day of my life
27th Apr 07: cd4 202 14%
30th Apr 07: cd4 126 18% VL 110000
19th May 07: Started Truvada/Sustiva
20th Jun 07: cd4 218 25% VL 435
13th Aug 07: cd4 374 20% VL 64
20th Dec 07: cd4 435 24% VL <50
20th Oct 08: cd4 725 31% VL <50
30th Nov 09: cd4 725 30% VL <50
01st Nov 10: cd4 755 33% VL<50
11th Nov 11: cd4 754 32% VL<50
01st May 12: cd4 864 40% VL<50
01st May 13: cd4 615 VL 609 :-/
14th May 13: VL <50

Offline PozBrian

  • Member
  • Posts: 200
Re: Going to the doc every 6 months?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2009, 02:19:48 AM »
My Doc told me that's the goal. Once my numbers are under control I'll only need to go in every 6 months for new blood work. That will be nice. I'm getting sick of giving gallons of blood and setting up  3 new apt every time I go in. I exaggerate of  course, it is usually only 2 new appointments.
3/8 CD4: 495, 31%, VL UD
2/1 CD4: 564, 20%.VL UD, switching to Issentress & truvada
10/11 CD4: 446, 29%, VL UD
7/11 CD4: 873, 35%, VL UD
4/11 CD4: 573, 34% VL 0
12/10 CD4: 405, 30% VL UD
9/10 CD4: 416, 31% VL UD
5/10 CD4: 393, 29% VL: UD
02/10 CD4: 423, 37% VL: UD
11/09 CD4: 379, 25% VL: UNDETECTABLE!!
10/09 CD4: 245, 25% VL: 87
9/09 CD4: 246, 24% VL: 49!
8/09 CD4: 277, 26% VL: 115
7/09 CD4: 346, 24% VL: 221
6/09 started Atripla
5/09 CD4: 326, 16%  VL:125000
4/09 HIV +, CD4: 397, 16%  VL:195000, PPD reactive

Offline PozBrian

  • Member
  • Posts: 200
Re: Going to the doc every 6 months?
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2009, 02:27:02 AM »
I should have mentioned that I'm new to hiv and just started atripla so have had a lot of visits recently. About every 2-3 weeks. I've just started monthly visits that will continue until I'm undetectable, then every 6 months.
3/8 CD4: 495, 31%, VL UD
2/1 CD4: 564, 20%.VL UD, switching to Issentress & truvada
10/11 CD4: 446, 29%, VL UD
7/11 CD4: 873, 35%, VL UD
4/11 CD4: 573, 34% VL 0
12/10 CD4: 405, 30% VL UD
9/10 CD4: 416, 31% VL UD
5/10 CD4: 393, 29% VL: UD
02/10 CD4: 423, 37% VL: UD
11/09 CD4: 379, 25% VL: UNDETECTABLE!!
10/09 CD4: 245, 25% VL: 87
9/09 CD4: 246, 24% VL: 49!
8/09 CD4: 277, 26% VL: 115
7/09 CD4: 346, 24% VL: 221
6/09 started Atripla
5/09 CD4: 326, 16%  VL:125000
4/09 HIV +, CD4: 397, 16%  VL:195000, PPD reactive

Offline markaj

  • Member
  • Posts: 80
Re: Going to the doc every 6 months?
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2009, 02:59:55 AM »
I've been used to going every 4 weeks or so.  Now I'm undetectable and stable on meds I'm expecting to have to go less often, perhaps every 3 months, just as soon as my hep C treatment is finished.  I know some other London clinics only take CD4's once a year, with someone stable on HAART.  I don't think I fancy that.  I actually rather like going to the clinic regularly and getting bloods done. 
Infected Jan 08 / diagnosed Feb 08
Feb 08 - CD4 230 (9%) VL 3.5 million
Mar 08 - CD4 440 (6%) VL 660.000
Apr 08 - CD4 420 (11%) VL 3 million
Jun 08 - CD4 200 (7%) VL 3 million
Started Kaletra/Truvada Jul 08
Jul 08  - CD4 250 (14%) VL 23.893
Aug 08 - CD4 410 (15%)  VL 4.313
Switched to Sustiva/Truvada Aug 08
Switched to Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada Sep 08
Diagnosed with Hep C, HIV meds stopped for a bit
Nov 08 - CD4 414 (12%) VL 500.000+
Started Isentress/Truvada Nov 2008
Dec 08 - CD4 381 (17%) VL 1.116
Jan 09 - CD4 534 (20%) VL <50
Started Interferon/Ribavirin Jan 09
Feb 09 - CD4 407 (24%) VL <50
Mar 09 - CD4 360 (28%) VL <50
Apr 09 - CD4 279 (30%) VL <50
Jun 09 - CD4 298 (36%) VL <50
Aug 09 - CD4 303 (35%) VL <50

Offline Funkengruven

  • Member
  • Posts: 95
Re: Going to the doc every 6 months?
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2009, 10:21:53 AM »
After several years of having very stable numbers, my doctor gave me the go ahead to see him twice a year until he sees anything that gives him concern; however, if I ever feel something is not right, I certainly wouldn't wait for my semi-annual appointment to go in and ask him about it.

Online Miss Philicia

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  • Posts: 23,885
  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: Going to the doc every 6 months?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2009, 11:55:06 AM »
Didn't we just do a poll like this in the past several months?
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Inchlingblue

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,119
  • Chad Ochocinco PETA Ad
Re: Going to the doc every 6 months?
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2009, 01:43:15 PM »
Didn't we just do a poll like this in the past several months?

Si, SeŮor. One thread with a poll and another thread on the subject without a poll:

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=26137.0

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=26182.0
« Last Edit: June 17, 2009, 01:45:15 PM by Inchlingblue »

Offline newbie76

  • Member
  • Posts: 238
Re: Going to the doc every 6 months?
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2009, 01:48:35 PM »
ooops... sorry... I should really come around more often!  :(
25th Apr 07: The worst day of my life
27th Apr 07: cd4 202 14%
30th Apr 07: cd4 126 18% VL 110000
19th May 07: Started Truvada/Sustiva
20th Jun 07: cd4 218 25% VL 435
13th Aug 07: cd4 374 20% VL 64
20th Dec 07: cd4 435 24% VL <50
20th Oct 08: cd4 725 31% VL <50
30th Nov 09: cd4 725 30% VL <50
01st Nov 10: cd4 755 33% VL<50
11th Nov 11: cd4 754 32% VL<50
01st May 12: cd4 864 40% VL<50
01st May 13: cd4 615 VL 609 :-/
14th May 13: VL <50

Offline decayingsinner

  • Member
  • Posts: 274
Re: Going to the doc every 6 months?
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2009, 05:10:16 PM »
I see my doc every three months. I'm hoping soon to go to every four months, but I wouldn't want to go beyond that.

Offline MitchMiller

  • Member
  • Posts: 464
Re: Going to the doc every 6 months?
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2009, 01:11:26 AM »
Recent studies have found that the probability of a detectable viral load is less than 5% between Dr. visits (I'm assuming they mean 3 months) for patients that have been undetectable and are adherent to medications (don't remember exactly how long the undetectable period was).  That includes blips and includes possibly some other risk factors, so the real percent is probably much lower.
I also just read a study yesterday (but now can't locate it)... that examined viral strain in blood plasma in undetectable patients.  They found it was very stable.
It sounds like your doc's judgement to go on six month visits is backed up by empirical evidence.
I haven't had any blood work done in 1.5 years now.  My doc seems to feel that so long as I'm 100% adherent, that's not a problem (I've been undetectable now for six years on the same medications).

Offline ALH300

  • Member
  • Posts: 69
  • Some days ur the bug other days ur the windshield!
Re: Going to the doc every 6 months?
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2009, 10:13:04 AM »
When I was first diagnosed it seem like I was going to the doc all the time. Actually every 2-3 months. I started Atripla last November and went to every 4 months...after my next visit in September if all is well and my numbers are stable the doc said once every 6 months would be fine!!! ;D
Poz 7-27-07 
First Labs:
07/13/2007 "Friday the 13th" What was I thinking???
314 CD4 17% 9410 VL
10/03/2007
479 CD4 18% 8220 VL
01/03/2008
493 CD4 22.5 % 5900 VL
03/18/2008
432 CD4 14.4 % 11,830 VL
05/06/2008
480 CD4 15.0% 2630 VL
07/16/2008
361 CD4 16.4% 12,830 VL
10/31/2008
362 CD4 15.5% 2500 VL
Started Atripla 11-17-2008
1/16/2009
395 CD4 20.5% undect. VL
5/05/2009
426 CD4 20.3% undect. VL
9/15/2009
422 CD4 22.2% undect. VL

Offline NycJoe

  • Member
  • Posts: 236
Re: Going to the doc every 6 months?
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2009, 10:43:19 AM »
My Dr also told me I was so stable and to just come every 6 mos.  Of course the first time I did that this year I have my first blip..LOL.  Only 135 viral load but then got retested for it again a week later and now 353 so now she wants to do the branch DNA test.  Didn't know about that one so looking it up now to see what it's all about.  I think if your stable every 6 mos is probably fine.  It's a comfort level.  Personally I feel better going every 3-4 mos just for my own peace of mind.    Joe

Offline Inchlingblue

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,119
  • Chad Ochocinco PETA Ad
Re: Going to the doc every 6 months?
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2009, 01:24:06 PM »
Only 135 viral load but then got retested for it again a week later and now 353 so now she wants to do the branch DNA test.  Didn't know about that one so looking it up now to see what it's all about. 

I think basically the bDNA test is more accurate, has fewer chances of showing any blips. In a recent question, Dr. Joel Gallant was asked what viral load test he prefers to use and he said:

I generally use RNA because it's often faster, but you can see more "blips" with RNA than bDNA.


LINK:


http://www.hopkins-hivguide.org/q_a/patient/recent_questions/viral_load_test...one_better_than_the_other_.html?contentInstanceId=484214&siteId=7151


Offline NycJoe

  • Member
  • Posts: 236
Re: Going to the doc every 6 months?
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2009, 02:46:43 PM »
Thanks so much for the info "Inchlingblue"..have a good one.

Offline Cliff

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,645
Re: Going to the doc every 6 months?
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2009, 03:28:13 PM »
I go every 6 months, or so.  Not on meds.  Relatively stable infection.

Offline emeraldize

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,335
Re: Going to the doc every 6 months?
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2009, 07:18:16 PM »
Like Cliff, I go visit the doc every 6 months.  Also not on meds.  Relatively stable infection. However, I still get bloods on a quarterly basis.

Offline nedly34

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
  • im such a dork
    • ned world
Re: Going to the doc every 6 months?
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2009, 12:45:04 PM »
you alsocould just get your blood work done at a off site lab and your doc could call you in for a appt if your blood work is off saves you a lot of time and you can get labs done at your convinace plus the lab you use can send you a copy of your labs also
love all

Offline Oceanbeach

  • Member
  • Posts: 3,565
Re: Going to the doc every 6 months?
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2009, 06:31:52 PM »
During the years I was managing the web site to help retain Title I funding in our state and more specifically our county, I attended many meetings and task forces.  Being what they call a Level 1 client, I was meeting with the doctor 4 times per year and got 1 telephone call per year from the Case Manager at our ASO.

One of our HIV specialist doctors did suggest we cut down the number of visits from 3 per year to 4 per year.  I asked if this could be done without hurting the progress the client patient may be having, he said yes.  This allows the doctor to see more patients, while people like myself who have maintained the same T-cell counts (350-450) and VL (undetectable) since 1998 don't really need to be seen that frequently.

I would personally like to reduce my visits to twice per year but there are blood pressure, cholesterol and mobility problems to be seen for as well as HIV.  Maybe next year!   ;D  Have the best day
Michael

Offline dtwpuck

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,013
  • дано мне тело, что мне делать с ним?
Re: Going to the doc every 6 months?
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2009, 08:26:30 AM »
I used to go every three months.  I used to be part of a study and got my blood drawn every month.  Actually, at first it was every week.  However, in the last five years, I've only gone every six months unless I have something else going on.  The truth is, my hiv infection has been stable and undetectable for ten years.  Going to the doc more often than that is a waste of time and money for me.  So, unless I have another issue going on (like high blood pressure),  I don't go.
Floating through the void in the caress of two giant pink lobsters named Esmerelda and Keith.

Online Miss Philicia

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  • Posts: 23,885
  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: Going to the doc every 6 months?
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2009, 10:20:19 AM »
So, unless I have another issue going on (like high blood pressure),  I don't go.

That's the key part though -- if you're blood pressure becomes an issue 3 weeks after your last doctor's visit, then by the time it's addressed you've had it for slightly over 5 months.  And this also goes for a host of other non-lab number/viral load/cd4 issues.  I think back to how quickly I lost body weight a couple of times, and that it happened in the winter when I wore layers of clothing so for some reason it even took my normally perceptive self longer than it should have to see what was going on.

Fortunately at the time I was going to the doctor monthly or at least every other month and it was noticed.

So yeah, I currently go every 4 months but I'm not sure I'm willing to space it out more for that reason.  I mean, once you make it 6 months what's keeping you from the slippery slope of making it every 9 months?  IIRC back in the 90's you were a slacker if you only went every 3 months.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Lakis

  • Member
  • Posts: 83
Re: Going to the doc every 6 months?
« Reply #20 on: June 23, 2009, 11:39:01 AM »
Its nothing wrong with visiting your doctor twice a  year- as long as your health is OK and your doc is happy with this. Im seeing my doc offen, but some of my friends are seeing theor docs every 4-6 months. I guess every case is different.

Lakis

Offline 38DutchGuy

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
Re: Going to the doc every 6 months?
« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2009, 07:36:47 AM »
OK you have to take the time off work to go to the doctor but be glad you can go and get checked every 4 or 6 months. as long as you are ok now what is the worry to go again and find out.

I just got tested poz and always said until now: once I get sick it's early enough to know and start treatment. How sorry I am now. been really sick including a week in the hospital.

If I had knows earlier and got checked every once in a while it would have saved me from the hospital.

So DO IT regularly.

Offline mecch

  • Member
  • Posts: 11,236
  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Going to the doc every 6 months?
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2009, 08:59:05 AM »
Hi!
I always go for my HIV check-ups together with my bf and he hates going to the clinic as he doesn't want to think about HIV.


4 months 6 months whats the difference really, whatever YOU want.  Never mind your bf - decide whats right for you and go without him if necessary. 

Why do you go together? 
ďFrom each, according to his ability; to each, according to his needĒ 1875 K Marx

Offline antibody

  • Member
  • Posts: 525
  • "every man thinks his burden is the heaviest"
Re: Going to the doc every 6 months?
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2009, 09:13:53 PM »
i see mine once a month. I only have labs every 3 months but he will only give me one months worth of pain meds. there was a time he went on vacation and post dated a script but he is all weird about the triplicate.
Timbuk      <50/ 794  CD4 10/06 
                 <50/ 1096 CD4 3/07
                 <40/ 1854 CD4 4/09

Started Atripla  7/14/06
Switched to boosted Reyataz Truvada 3/28/07

*Ask me about Medical Marijuana and how it can help you!*

Offline Luke

  • Member
  • Posts: 291
Re: Going to the doc every 6 months?
« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2009, 11:28:59 AM »
Doctor once a year and get labs, STIs and blood pressure checked with a nurse specialist every four months - with all appointments available out-of-hours.

My clinic runs telephone clinics three times a week, so there is always a doctor at the end of the phone for any of those little niggles that I'm not happy to talk to a nurse or clinic pharmacist about. If anything untoward shows up in the bloodwork, an email alerts me to it within minutes and lets me know what action I should be taking. For anything major, I have a 24*7*365 hotline to the on-call HIV specialist at the hospital.

I can't see any earthly reason why the reduced level of routine contact with my doctor, which was my own choice, should worry me in the least.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2009, 01:22:32 PM by Luke »

 


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