a woman shown four times through the window of her home taking her HIV medication. Each window shows a different season.

Sticking to Your Regimen

Last updated: August 2023

I cannot lie to you and tell you that I have never missed a day or two of my HIV medication. With all honesty, there have been times that I went a week without taking my medication.

It took me a very long time to get used to the fact that I now needed to take one pill a day for the rest of my life.

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The first time I forgot my medication

I remember the first time I freaked out because I did not take my medication.

It was about 6 months after getting diagnosed and I thought I was doing so well adhering to my medication. I had gone on vacation to San Diego for almost a week and once I got to the hotel, I realized that I did not pack my prescription bottle.

I was very upset with myself, but I accepted the fact that I will have slip-ups and forget because I am human. Believe me, I have been taking my medication for over six years now, and taking one pill a day has finally become a routine.

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Talking to my doctor about my medications

If you are newly diagnosed and have been prescribed an HIV medication from your healthcare provider, make sure to stick to it.

The medication that I take now is the third medication that has been prescribed to me since I got diagnosed because the first two were not working with my body. The first two medications were not sitting well with my stomach and the tests the doctors ran said that I should change it up.

I also realized that my body felt better when I took my pill right before bed rather than in the morning when I woke up or throughout the day.

How I created routine

In order for me to remember to take my pill, I always leave the bottle where I can see it, right next to my toothbrush. I make sure to brush my teeth and take my pill right before bed. I chose to take it at night as well because I know myself. If I wake up late and am rushing to work, there is an increase in the chance of me forgetting to take my medication.

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Helpful reminders

I was fortunate enough to have a friend that also reminds me from time to time. I have a very close friend who takes PrEP once a day so sometimes he sends me little reminders to take my pill.

If you do not have someone to help remind you, then you can also set reminders on your phone. There are many other apps that can remind you when you need to take your pill. I also have a small pill holder on my keychain that has an extra pill in it whenever there are times when I do forget.

It took a while to get used to

In my own experience, taking one pill a day took a while to get used to. It took a long period of time to include it in my daily routine until it became a habit.

For everyone that is newly diagnosed, you should be patient with yourself and try to stick to a routine that works best for you and your body.

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