State of affairs at the HIV outpatient clinic

During the first consultation, depending on the complaints you have, you will be seen by the internist or nurse consultant. You will be asked to go through an extensive questionnaire and you will receive information about HIV and current advice regarding treatment of the infection. You will also receive information about safe sex, other sexually transmitted diseases and about the general course of events at MC Jan van Goyen. During this first conversation there will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions such as: Should I tell people at work? Can you tell when I contracted the infection? Do I need to change anything about my lifestyle now? Which vaccinations do you recommend?

Physical examination

A physical examination will then take place in which your height, weight, blood pressure and pulse are measured, among other things. After the interview and the physical examination, a number of additional examinations will be performed (if not already performed elsewhere):

  • Blood test: general blood test (e.g. for anemia, kidney function, liver function, cholesterol, glucose), HIV viral load (the amount of HIV virus in the blood), CD4 cells (immune cells), hepatitis B and C examination, lues test (syphilis) .

First consultation

You should allow about two hours for the first consultation and the additional examinations. When the intake takes place by the nurse, you will be seen briefly by the internist.

Second consultation

About two weeks after the intake you will have the second appointment, usually with the internist. During this second consultation, the internist will discuss HIV in general with you. Specific questions will be asked about your current health and complaints, and about your medical history. Again, there is an opportunity to ask questions. This is followed by a general physical examination. All results will then be discussed with you and the further course of events will be determined in consultation with you. This further course of action depends on your complaints and symptoms and on the findings of additional research.

Follow-up consultations (internist-infectiologist, nurse specialist or both)

A number of things are determined at every follow-up consultation:

  • Patient Complaints. At every consultation you will be asked whether you have specific complaints, if this is the case, a physical examination or additional examination will sometimes follow.
  • Laboratory tests (what is determined differs per patient and per visit): the HIV viral load (amount of HIV particles in the blood), the syphilis serology, the kidney function and liver function are determined every time. Extensive laboratory tests are carried out once a year, including the CD-4 cells (the immune cells), the cholesterol, the red and white blood cells and the glucose value.

The frequency of the follow-up consultations depends on the complaints, the symptoms, the CD4 cells and any additional diseases. If there are no specifics, it takes place every four to six months.

Do you have a question about State of affairs at the HIV outpatient clinic? Then send us a e-mail.

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