The Basics on Making Decisions About Therapies
Need some help deciding what therapy might be best for you? Here are some things to think about as you make up your mind.
Regardless of the therapy you consider, the same basic principles for making decisions can be used, including:
CHOOSE AN EXPERIENCED PROVIDER
Choose a healthcare provider or doctor who is experienced with the treatment of HIV disease and with the types of therapy you are interested in pursuing.
DEVELOP THE RIGHT RELATIONSHIP
Learn about the different types of doctor/patient relationships; determine how you want to interact with your doctor and develop the right relationship. Discuss your decision-making process style of relationship with your healthcare provider.
Learn about your health condition(s) and possible treatment options:
What does the research show? Consider sources of information that give you objective information about various treatments and strategies. Project Inform offers this kind of information free-of-charge through a toll-free hotline, printed documents, public meetings and website.
Explore, examine and challenge your beliefs about therapy.
What has been the experience of friends and people you trust?
Does your healthcare provider or doctor have opinions about particular drugs, combinations, or strategies? What does your provider recommend and why?
TALK BEFORE YOU START
Talk to your doctor before you start therapy (regardless of what that therapy is) and come to mutual agreements about:
- When to start therapy.
- What overall treatment strategy you will pursue.
- How to monitor whether or not a therapy is working.
- How to monitor (and manage) for side effects of therapy.
- When to switch therapy and how you plan to sequence the available therapies.
- Under what conditions you might choose to stop therapy.
Adapted from: www.projectinform.org