Tips for Taking Your HIV-1 Medicines

Why sticking to your
treatment plan matters.

You and your healthcare provider will decide which
HIV-1 medicines you should take. You need to know exactly how much of each HIV-1 medicine to take, as well as when and how to take it. The goal is to keep the right amount of each medicine in your body at all times. This can help your viral load stay low and your CD4 cell count stay high. Skipping doses gives the virus a chance to get worse or even change form.
When that happens, your medicines might not be
able to control the new form of HIV.

HIV-1 medicine reminders

There are many reasons why people may not take their HIV-1 medicines as directed, but one of the most
common is just plain forgetfulness. Luckily, there are
simple steps you can take to help avoid this problem.
These tips can help you remember to take your
medicines and stay on track with your HIV-1 treatment plan:

  • Set a watch or cell phone alarm to go off
    when it is time to take your HIV-1 medicines.
  • Buy a pillbox. Use it to organize your HIV-1
    medicines once a week/month and stay on
    track every day.
  • Try to make taking your medicines part of
    your daily routine.
    It helps if you take your
    HIV-1 medicines at the same time you do
    something else, such as eating a meal or
    getting ready for bed.
  • You may want to create a daily or weekly
    medicine schedule
    . It could help to include
    pictures of your medicines so you know
    exactly what you’re supposed to take. You
    can do this on the computer or by hand. Just
    be sure to make copies.
  • Never hesitate to call your healthcare
    provider or pharmacist
    if you are running
    low on your HIV medicine. Always make sure
    you have enough of what you need!

No matter what method you use, it’s very important
that you take all of your medicines
exactly as your
healthcare provider has prescribed. Living with HIV means not letting it take control of your life. Staying on track with your HIV-1 treatment plan is the
first step.