STAYING ON TRACK WITH YOUR HIV CARE

The best way to make sure you stay on track with your HIV care routine is to take your medicine as prescribed. This is also called ‘treatment adherence’. Good adherence not only helps you stay undetectable1, but it can help to maintain your general health too.2

There are lots of ways you can make it easier for yourself, from setting a reminder on your phone to switching to an HIV medication that better suits your lifestyle. The important thing is to find something that works for you.

KEEPING TO YOUR ROUTINE

Taking your medication on time is important – but it’s not always easy. Even with the best intentions, there are lots of things that can get in the way of good HIV adherence, such as holidays, working night shifts or the worry of someone finding your tablets.

However, many people living with HIV find that if you work your treatment into your lifestyle, taking your medicine can become second nature.

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TIPS TO STAY ON TRACK

If you do find that you are struggling with your treatment regimen, here are some treatment adherence tips you can try:4

Combine taking medication with other habits
Use a pill box
Set a reminder on your phone
Keep a diary of when you’ve taken your medicine
Keep spare doses handy
Plan in advance before you travel

If you are having difficulty taking your medication as prescribed, talk to your healthcare team about your concerns.

Occasionally forgetting to take your HIV medicine or taking it late isn’t usually a problem if your overall adherence is good. However, if you do find you’re regularly missing doses or find it a struggle to stick to your treatment plan, tell your healthcare team so together you can find a better option.

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BEING EMPOWERED IN YOUR CARE

When it comes to your HIV treatment and care, being your own champion can help you get closer to your treatment goals. Research also tells us that being involved in decisions about your treatment can have a positive effect on your health and wellbeing too.5

Remember, this is your life and you are in charge.

If there’s ever anything about your treatment that isn’t working for you, you don’t just have to put up with it. You can expect more! Speak to your doctor and together decide on a solution that has less impact on your health or life.

If you’d like to hear more about self-advocacy and being empowered in your HIV care, listen to the ‘More power to you’ episode of the Positively Thriving podcast.

More Power to You
POSITIVELY THRIVING

More Power to You

How do you move from the uncertain days just after diagnosis to feeling totally in control of your life and future? Tom, Sam and Robert discuss self-advocacy, treatment and quality of life – plus Sam reveals why getting kicked onto a train was a game changer.

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Being involved in treatment decisions has its benefits

The Positive Perspectives study asked people living with HIV about what was important to them.

The study also showed that people living with HIV who are more engaged with their healthcare teams were more satisfied with their treatment and had better overall health:5

High engagement
High engagement
High engagement
High engagement
High engagement

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Being empowered in your care
Being empowered in your care

WHAT'S NEXT ?

There was a time when HIV care focused solely on suppressing the virus. As HIV care has evolved, ensuring a good quality of life for people living with HIV is now just as important as effective HIV treatment and care.

Having a long, healthy life should be achievable for most people living with HIV today.3 This may mean that your health and treatment needs change over time.

Working together with your healthcare team to understand what's going on within your body may be the best way to get the most from your HIV care.

References:

  1. Avert. What is an undetectable viral load? Available at: https://www.avert.org/living-with-hiv/antiretroviral-treatment/what-does-undetectable-mean. [Accessed September 2021].
  2. Schaecher KL. Am J Manag Care. 2013;19:S231–S237.
  3. National Health Service. Treatment – HIV and AIDS. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hiv-and-aids/treatment/ [Accessed: November 2021].
  4. NAM Aidsmap. Adherence tips. Available at: http://www.aidsmap.com/about-hiv/adherence-tips. [Accessed September 2021].
  5. Okoli C, et al. Poster presented at the 23rd International AIDS Conference; 2020; July 6–10. Poster PED 0808.

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