HIV treatment is a treatment and is part of specialism hiv care

Customised treatment

The treatment of HIV has improved enormously in all respects in the past years. The HIV inhibitors only have to be taken once or twice a day. They also have fewer side effects than before. With the right HIV treatment, caregivers are striving for the most rapid drop in the number of virus particles in the blood. The aim is to get the ‘viral load’ so low that it can no longer be measured. Not measurable means that HIV no longer makes you ill, cannot be transmitted, and the immune system has a chance to get stronger again.


To create a customised treatment, we look at the results of physical examinations, the history and experience with medicines, and the psychological and social aspects of your life. On the basis of this information, the team will recommend the best treatment. This decision is taken together with you.

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HIV care

Starting HIV treatment

Intake

During the first visit, a nursing specialist conducts the intake. You discuss your symptoms with the nurse, ask questions and other important points. Agreements are made about blood testing and additional examinations.

We consult your GP or other caregivers to obtain other necessary medical data.

Result

During a follow-up visit with the nurse and internist, the results of the examination are discussed and a suitable treatment plan prepared.

Medication

You can collect the HIV and other medication from your own pharmacy and/or at the DC Apotheek located in the same building as DC Klinieken Lairesse.


Check-ups

As soon as the virus can no longer be detected in your blood, just half-yearly check-ups are necessary to measure your blood levels. We do this to continue monitoring the situation and to see if we have to change anything about the treatment. During the check-ups we focus not only on the results from the lab and the treatment, but we also look at other aspects of your health. During the consult we review the medicines that you take regularly. These are the medicines you receive from us, plus the medicines that you use in addition (for example from another doctor or over-the-counter ones you buy yourself). These substances could affect each other, leading potentially to severe side effects or symptoms, or to an amplified or weakened effect of the HIV treatment.


Growing old with HIV

Growing older healthily with HIV includes coping with the additional risks associated with the virus. Research in which our patients collaborated revealed that HIV can increase the risk of developing certain geriatric or other conditions, like cardiovascular diseases, cancer, kidney diseases and brain diseases.


Self-management and prevention are therefore very important: what more can a person do to limit the risks besides treating HIV? For example quitting smoking, exercising a lot, drinking little alcohol and a healthy diet.


Where possible, we advise, motivate and help you with setting realistic goals. If necessary, we refer you to other experts in our extensive network.


Sexual health

It is known that many HIV-positive people run into problems concerning sexuality and intimacy. The problems do not have to be associated with HIV, but the diagnosis can produce insecurity around sex in the beginning. It helps a great deal to talk about it.


The symptoms can be physical or mental, like problems with erections, pain during sex, fear of contracting an STD, doubts about dating or how to be intimate with your partner. Experience shows that a combination of factors is often involved.


Since March 2018, DC Clinics has offered a separate consultation hour for sexual health. Many people find it difficult to talk about sexuality. We hope to create an open atmosphere in which you feel safe to discuss sexual problems with someone from the treatment team. We look together at whether a referral to our specialised HIV consultant is suitable.

Sexual health consultation hour

Making an appointment

Would you like to make an appointment to discuss your sexual health? This can be done during the consultation or through the HIV treatment centre. Usually, it is possible to make an appointment quite quickly, it takes about an hour. This talk helps you realise what is a possible cause of a problem or symptom.

Talks

Sometimes a couple of talks are sufficient, sometimes a referral to another caregiver is needed.