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Why do I need to keep seeing a doctor?

It’s almost like a relationship. Actually it’s not almost like a relationship. It is a relationship. So consider it a relationship. If you were boo’d up with somebody, and you stopped talking, you stopped communicating, verbally or nonverbally, where is the relationship going to go? It’s probably going to end at some point. Think about your relationship with your provider and with your health as kind of all together in that respect. If you stop communicating, stop coming, stop showing up, stop being present, the relationship’s going to end and your health is going to suffer as a result. If these things with your viral load go on like if something happens the medication is not working. If you’re not communicating at all or you’re communicating once every six months or every 12 months, you may not know what’s happening. So it’s good to be vigilant, stay regular with your provider see them every three to four months. Don’t just drop out of care and then come back a little bit later on and expect everything to be fine. It would be like any relationship, if you don’t nurture it, if you don’t water it, if you don’t feed it, it’s not going to grow.

Dr. David Malebranche, MD, MPH, a clinician-researcher specializing in HIV, gives the lowdown on all things HIV care and treatment in the latest installment of the #AskTheHIVDoc video series.