Where to go for treatment?

The treatment of HIV takes place in an HIV treatment centre. Go there for an initial consultation as soon as possible after you find out that you are HIV positive. Don't postpone your first visit by more than one or two weeks. Which treatment centre you should go to depends on a number of factors. If you prefer, you can take your partner, a good friend or a family member along with you to your first appointment. Your HIV internist and HIV nurse can offer you support. You can also find information on 4mezelf.nl and you can turn to the Hiv Vereniging for help.

Where can you go for medical support?

The Netherlands has about 30 different HIV treatment centres. Those are usually found in large hospitals. Your health will be monitored by HIV internists and HIV nurses. They are up-to-date on the latest developments in the area of HIV and HIV medication. But they will also give you plenty of room as an individual, for your questions and your doubts. Your HIV internist and HIV nurse are there to give you support.

Practically every large hospital in the major Dutch cities has an HIV treatment centre. Which one you ultimately go to will depend on a number of different factors. Is the hospital's location convenient for you? Do they already know you there? Does your family doctor have good connections there? What do your HIV-positive friends have to say about it? Stichting Hiv Monitoring has compiled a list (in Dutch) with the addresses of all Dutch HIV treatment centres.

What happens in an HIV treatment centre?

The doctors and nurses at the treatment centre will be keeping track of your health: they will test your blood on a regular basis and ask you how you are feeling. If you have any symptoms or health problems, they can take action immediately. Don't postpone your first visit by more than one or two weeks. Go there immediately if you have any health problems. The person who gave you the results can often make an appointment for you on the same day. Take advantage of that!

Should you go alone or with someone?

If you want, you can take your partner along with you to see your HIV nurse. Your partner might also have a lot of questions that he wants to ask. Don't take him with you if you think you would feel more free to ask questions or to express your concerns if he weren't there. Your family and friends are always welcome to make a separate appointment to visit your HIV nurse. It could be helpful for them to talk with the HIV nurse if they are concerned. 

Online support (in Dutch) on 4mezelf.nl

Have you only just heard that you have HIV? Go to www.4mezelf.nl. This site offers support (in Dutch) to gay and bisexual men who have only recently found out that they have HIV. On 4mezelf.nl you can get support on topics such as: 

  • sex when you are HIV positive
  • your feelings
  • your health in general
  • treatment of HIV
  • further support and talking with others about your HIV infection

If you have HIV, you may have trouble dealing with some of the situations that you will face. You will also need to make some difficult decisions. If you would like to talk to other HIV-positive people about those things, contact the Marieke Bevelanderhuis. Such conversations can be either face to face or by telephone. You can also get support from the Servicepunt (service point) of Hiv Vereniging Nederland (HVN). 

Information

For reliable information about HIV, you can consult the website of Hiv Vereniging Nederland (HVN). If you become a member of HVN, you will receive their magazine Hivnieuws, which will keep you up to date in terms of any new developments concerning HIV. If you are interested in a lifestyle magazine revolving around HIV, you can subscribe to Hello Gorgeous.

 

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