Labwork : Down At The Lab - by Staff

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Blood Simple

Resistance Testing

CD4 Count

Viral Load



Who's Got You Covered?

We Shall Overcome

In This Corner

Down At The Lab

What You're Talking About
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You Can't Hurry Love (14 comments)

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Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV


Down At The Lab

by Staff

A few things to keep in mind before and after you roll up your sleeve

These tests are yours; make sure you get the info you need. “If you’re not comfortable with your first blood work, request another test,” advises Michelle. “It might give you a second opinion.”

There’s no use comparing lab results if you’re not consistent about how you take them. “You may take a lab test at one time of day, or fasting versus on a full stomach, and get different results,” says Michelle. (And if you are fasting, drink orange juice or something sweet immediately after the test, or risk feeling woozy.)

If you can’t stand the prick of a needle in your arm, request the junior version. Pediatric needles take a little longer to sample your blood, but they hurt less!

If elaborate digital spreadsheets aren’t your style, just keep copies of your lab reports in a folder—and let someone know where they are in case of emergency. Date everything and keep it ready to travel. You might want to cross-reference your lab tests with a “symptom diary” and your treatment history. If you switch docs, make sure your charts go too.

The more you know about developments in HIV care (check, the better you can interpret your labs and play a role in your treatment.

Don’t let your doctor ignore common yet unexplained symptoms like diarrhea, anemia, fatigue or weight loss. Push for explanations—and more tests if you need them. “If your gut is saying, ‘This is not right,’ don’t be intimidated,” warns Michelle.

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