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HIV Specialty Care For You

For Kaiser Permanent members with HIV, our focus on comprehensive care and health maintenance is especially helpful. There are multidisciplinary HIV teams at several of the major medical centers around Northern California. These teams are ready to partner with patients to help them learn to actively manage HIV and live well. Teams may include the HIV specialist physician, care coordinator, medical social worker, pharmacist, health educator and nutritionist. Many of these professionals have years of experience with HIV and are leaders in the field.

You are the captain of the Team. You know your body best and you are the one who will most benefit. The HIV health care providers’ job is to provide high quality care and help patients learn how to manage HIV to stay healthy. Your job as captain is to ask questions, report symptoms or problems, and discuss concerns.

Here are a few tips:
Choose a personal provider with whom you feel comfortable. You can always change their provider.
Get to know your provider, HIV team members, and the services available at your medical center. Social workers can help assess eligibility for benefits. Pharmacists can educate about medications, dosing schedules, and obtaining refills. Health educators can help with lifestyle issues and safer sex skills for patients and significant others.

Prepare for appointments. Bring a list of your medications. Write down your questions or symptoms and prioritize them. Tell the provider your concerns at the beginning of the visit so s/he can use the time to address them and you can leave with the information you need.

Come lead the team!