Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.



Quick Links

Veterans Crisis Line Badge
My healthevet badge
EBenefits Badge

Getting diagnosed with HIV: Monitor your health

for Veterans and the Public

Monitor your health

Once you have been diagnosed with HIV, you need to pay closer attention to your health than you did before.

You can keep track of your immune system in two ways. First, have regular lab tests done. Lab tests often can show signs of illness before you have any noticeable symptoms.

Second, listen to what your body is telling you, and be on the alert for signs that something isn't right. Note any change in your health--good or bad. And don't be afraid to call a doctor.

Have regular lab tests

Your medical provider will use laboratory tests to check your health. Some of these tests will be done soon after you learn you are HIV positive.

The lab tests look at several things:

  • how well your immune system is functioning
  • how well your medications are controlling the HIV (or, if you are not taking HIV medications, how rapidly HIV is progressing)
  • certain basic body functions (tests look at your kidneys, liver, cholesterol, and blood cells)
  • whether you have other diseases that are associated with HIV

For your first few doctor visits, be prepared to have a lot of blood drawn. Don't worry. You are not going to have so much blood drawn at every appointment.

For information on specific tests, go to the Understanding Laboratory Tests page in this section.