"What do I do now?": How a Single Question Shaped a Clinician's Approach to HIV Patient Care

Gregory D. Huhn, MD, MPHTM


December 17, 2021

Gregory Huhn, MD, reflects on his early days as a third-year medical student in 1995, just prior to the advent of practice-changing combination antiretroviral therapies, and on one patient in particular who, seemingly unaware of his condition, came to the hospital presenting with oral thrush, an early symptom of HIV infection. Dr Huhn confirmed the diagnosis of HIV and the patient asked him, "What do I do now?" When faced with this question, Dr Huhn employed the usual "fast thinking" expected from a young medical student but learned from this experience that in order to better meet the patient's needs, he would have to "think slow" and discuss what steps the patient could take to tackle the stigma of HIV and have a good quality of life.


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