Different illnesses are more likely to affect people living with HIV and/or affect them at an earlier stage than HIV negative people. These may include heart disease, some cancers, osteoporosis and disorders of the liver, kidneys and brain. So, just as you check your pockets for wallet, car keys and phone before a trip, make sure you are getting serviced regularly by booking in your annual health assessments.
As well as talking to your HIV consultants at your regular appointments, make sure you are also booking in your annual health assessments. Ask about the tests that are available to you as you age, for example if you are over 40 years old your clinician may want to measure your bone mineral density (BMD) and do a FRAX test (Fracture Risk Assessment Tool), which can tell you how high your chance is of breaking a bone. You can also request urinary tests such as an eGFR test which keeps check of your kidneys or a QRISK2 test to work out your risk of a heart attack. These may sound scary but they are simple tests to keep you in the know! Take the Health MOT to help the conversation with your doctor so you can both plan for the long road ahead.