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New Survey Of People Living With HIV Shows Desire For Greater Doctor-Patient Dialogue About Treatment And Disease Impact

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., Sept. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, results from an online nationwide survey of more than 300 people living with HIV on antiretroviral therapy show that participants are very involved in engaging with their healthcare providers in the management of their HIV; nearly all (97 percent) said that they are proactive about managing their HIV condition, including drug treatment. However, the survey findings also show that about three in four participants would like to spend more time discussing topics with their doctor about HIV drug treatment (74 percent) and the impact of HIV on their lives (71 percent) during doctor office visits.

Results of the survey, which examined the breadth and depth of communications between people living with HIV and their doctors, including level of preparation by patients for visits, content of discussions during visits and commonly used information resources, were released during the 2013 United States Conference on AIDS (USCA), the largest annual HIV gathering in the nation. The survey was conducted complementary to Merck's national HIV education campaign, I Design ( www.ProjectIDesign.com) to help empower people living with HIV to have open and meaningful discussions with their doctors.

"The results of this survey are very encouraging, however they underscore the need for more in-depth discussions between people living with HIV and their doctors - not only regarding their treatment regimens, but also how the disease is affecting their lives overall," said Dr. Michael Gottlieb, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA. "Communication between healthcare providers and patients is the cornerstone of developing and maintaining a successful HIV treatment plan."

Key findings from the survey show that respondents are active about managing their HIV, with most indicating that they are proactive about making doctor appointments (85 percent), talking to their doctor about things that concern them (84 percent) and talking to their doctor about HIV drug treatment options (77 percent). In addition, more than half (56 percent) research HIV and HIV-related topics, and many (42 percent) talk to others living with HIV to proactively manage their HIV condition.

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