Get set for HIV treatment

This tool will help you decide whether you are ready to start taking HIV treatment.

Firstly, you’ll be asked some questions about your health – in order to see if treatment might be needed soon. Then, there are some questions about help and support, your feelings about HIV treatment, and other things that are going on in your life. All of these things can affect your ability to take HIV treatment regularly. 

The tool will then produce a personalised factsheet, outlining some key issues for you to think about and discuss with your healthcare team.

Start the questionnaire here or keep on reading below for more information on how Get set for HIV treatment works.

How Get set for HIV treatment works

1. Answer a series of short questions

You will be asked a series of questions about your health and your feelings about starting treatment. You can answer all the questions, or you can skip any questions you don't know the answer to.

There are 20 questions and it should take about five minutes to complete. You won't be asked for your name.

2. Print, email or save a PDF of your personalised factsheet

Once you have finished answering the questions, the tool produces a personalised factsheet for you, which you can print, save as a PDF or send as an email. We won’t store your email address.

3. Find out more about starting HIV treatment

Depending on your answers, the personalised factsheet may explain why you should think about starting to take HIV treatment. It will also highlight any issues or concerns that could affect your readiness to start treatment or to take it regularly.

The factsheet will make suggestions about what to do next and provide links to more detailed information. We’d recommend discussing the points raised in your factsheet with your healthcare team.

Are you ready to start treatment?

What was your most recent CD4 cell count?

Your CD4 cell count is based on a blood test and it is a sign of the health of your immune system (your body’s own defence system). Staff at your HIV clinic will be able to tell you what your CD4 cell count is.

To find out more about this topic, read NAM's booklet CD4, viral load & other tests.

Above 500
Between 350 and 500
Between 200 and 350
Below 200
Don't know

How old are you?

Please enter your age in years.

What is your gender?

Male
Female

Are you pregnant or hoping to become pregnant soon?

I’m pregnant now
I’d like to become pregnant soon
No

Do you have hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is a viral infection that affects the liver. It is different from hepatitis A or hepatitis C. Choose ‘yes’ if you currently have hepatitis B. Choose ‘no’ if you had hepatitis B in the past but have been cured, or if you have never had it.

To find out more, read NAM’s booklet HIV & hepatitis.

Yes
No
Don’t know

Do you have hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a viral infection that affects the liver. It is different from hepatitis A or hepatitis B. Choose ‘yes’ if you currently have hepatitis C. Choose ‘no’ if you had hepatitis C in the past but have been cured, or if you have never had hepatitis C.

To find out more, read NAM’s booklet HIV & hepatitis.

Yes
No
Don’t know

Are you receiving chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment for cancer?

As these cancer treatments can suppress your body’s ability to fight infections, HIV treatment is always recommended while you are receiving chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

Yes
No

Are you frequently unwell?

Choose ‘yes’ if you have frequent health problems such as infections, skin problems, tiredness or fevers that are not linked to either diabetes or cancer. These could be signs that HIV is beginning to damage your body’s immune defences.

Yes
No

Do you have kidney problems?

HIV can damage your kidneys. This problem is more common in people of black ethnicity. If you have kidney disease with another cause this may also affect when you need HIV treatment.

Yes
No
Don’t know

"I am concerned about the possibility that I will pass on HIV to a sexual partner."

Do you agree with this statement?

Strongly agree
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
Strongly disagree

"I feel that I know enough about HIV and HIV treatment to make a decision about starting treatment."

Do you agree with this statement?

Strongly agree
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
Strongly disagree

"I know where to go to get more help and information about HIV treatment."

Do you agree with this statement?

Strongly agree
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
Strongly disagree

"I have someone I can talk to about having HIV."

Do you agree with this statement?

Strongly agree
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
Strongly disagree

"I believe that HIV treatment will improve my health."

Do you agree with this statement?

Strongly agree
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
Strongly disagree

"I will be able to take medication every day, at the same time and as prescribed."

Do you agree with this statement?

Strongly agree
Agree
Neither agree nor disagree
Disagree
Strongly disagree

When thinking about starting treatment, do you worry about any of these things?

Tick as many statements as you wish.

Taking pills regularly
Side-effects
People finding out that I have HIV
Having to take medication for the rest of my life
Talking to my partner about having HIV
The drugs not working
Swallowing pills
Remembering to take medication at the right times each day
Being reminded of HIV every day
Becoming ill

In the next few months, which of the following are the highest priority areas in your life?

Please choose the three that are most important to you.

Work or studies
Family
Friends
Relationships
Housing
Money
Health
Immigration
Free-time activities or sport
HIV treatment

Is there anything going on in your life that might make it hard to take your anti-HIV drugs regularly?

Tick as many statements as you wish.

Feeling down, depressed or anxious
Use of alcohol or recreational drugs
My need for confidentiality
Not having a daily routine
Homelessness
Being in prison or detention
Immigration problems
Looking after children
Forgetfulness
Travel

Would you be able to take time out of your routine in the first few weeks after starting treatment?

Starting treatment may involve some changes to your life and routines. During the first few weeks you may have some side-effects, you may need to get used to taking pills every day and you might have some extra clinic appointments.

Yes
No

So, to sum up, how ready do you feel to start HIV treatment?

Not at all ready
Fairly confident
Ready

Get set for HIV treatment

Published February 2013

Last reviewed February 2013

Next review February 2016

Contact NAM to find out more about the scientific research and information used to produce this tool.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Boehringer Ingelheim which has funded the development of this resource and which has had no editorial control over its content.