Black Issues : Common HIV-Care Myths Among Docs

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Back to home » HIV 101 » POZ Focus » Black Issues

Table of Contents

HIV Care in the Black Community

It's Our Community and It's Our Fight

Prevention And Testing: How To Talk With Patients

If A Patient Tests Positive

Common HIV-Care Myths Among Docs

Calling All Doctors

Fears vs. Facts


Give and Get Support at

Adhere To This

Resources For Non-HIV Docs

Resources For Your Patients

HIV Docs Share Treatment Smarts

HIV Medications and Pregnancy

What You're Talking About
Losing Hope (blog) (22 comments)

Mad That Bill Maher Promoted a Quack AIDS Doc? Then Do This. (20 comments)

You Can't Hurry Love (14 comments)

I Watched Charlie Sheen on The Dr. Oz Show So You Don't Have To (blog) (14 comments)

Charlie Sheen S&%ts On 30 Years of AIDS Activism (blog) (14 comments)

Remember Their Names: World AIDS Day 2015 (blog) (13 comments)
Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV


Common HIV-Care Myths Among Docs

01. When someone has HIV, all their health issues are due to the disease. “There is a misconception [among physicians] that once a person is HIV positive, everything they have is related to the disease,” says internist M. Keith Rawlings, MD. However, people with HIV may also have diabetes, hypertension (blacks have higher risks of both) and other conditions that require a specialist’s care.

02. Once my patients get on meds, they’re good to go. HIV drugs can cause side effects—most commonly, nausea, fatigue and diarrhea. Symptoms may be further complicated by high blood sugar, diabetes or high cholesterol. And significant drug interactions can occur between HIV meds and some antacids, antifungals, antibiotics, anticonvulsants, antihistamines, calcium channel blockers, vaso-dilators, gastrointestinal and lipid-lowering agents and oral contraceptives. Make sure your patients know that they may experience side effects with HIV meds, especially in the first weeks of treatment. And encourage them to speak openly about everything they may be putting in their body.
03. Surgeons  shouldn’t operate on someone who has HIV. As long as your patient’s T-cell count is above 200, the risk of post-operative complications is lower. Below 200, patients may be  refused for surgery because wounds won’t heal as well. Elective surgery is usually deferred until the immune system is improved. But if a patient needs surgery, you should assess their need independent of the fact that they’re positive. 

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