The most important part of managing an HIV diagnosis is remembering to take your medications every day. Skipping days can allow the virus to multiply, attack your immune system or become drug-resistant. If one of your goals for this year is to improve your medication adherence, our team put together a few tips to help:
- Use a pillbox will all seven days of the week written on top. Sometimes the visual reminder can make it easier to remember that you need to take your meds.
- Take your medications at the same time every day. Talk to your provider or nurse care manager about matching your medication schedule to your schedule.
- Set a daily reminder on your phone. It’s hard to start a new habit, so make it easier on yourself by not having to remember one more thing. Create a medication diary, and track when you take each medication at what time. If you are a visual person maybe give yourself a gold star or sticker each day you take your medication.
- For those that have not had much success with the above suggestions, electronic pillboxes can be a very effective way to help you to remember to take your medications. Talk to your nurse care manager and/or pharmacist for more information about this option.
- Plan ahead for when your schedule changes like holidays, weekends or vacations. Take more medication than you need in the event you stay longer than expected.
This article has a lot of great ideas, but it can’t substitute for personal experience and recommendations from someone living with HIV. If you have been recently diagnosed and are looking to connect to a community that can provide tips on medication adherence check out our weekly HIV support group on Wednesdays with JaCarie Owens.