a hand with a finger pointing, a red HIV awareness ribbon tied around it.

PrEP Simple But Not Easy

Taking PrEP every day isn’t complicated. It’s just one pill a day and you have pretty excellent protection against HIV if you don’t miss it. However, just because it is easy doesn’t mean it’s not hard to do. Coming from my perspective, I can admit that developing strategies to meet this demand can be tricky.

I think I mentioned before that this effort even boggles the minds of public health researchers, scientists, and medical providers. The challenge of getting healthy individuals to take oral PrEP as prevention really involves a lot of behavioral factors that vary for every person, and I don’t believe any one strategy will hold the eventual answer. I wanted to look at some more ways people track their use of PrEP.

Helpful tips for PrEP adherence

Using a pill box

Do you remember that pillbox your grandma had? It was labeled with every day of the week, Monday through Sunday. At the beginning of the week, they would fill up the container and faithfully follow the days. This one works pretty well especially if you are on other daily medications. Pairing medications with the consent of your doctors and pharmacist’s recommendation is a great way to keep one accountable for your entire health regimen. If you practice these methods, eventually the use becomes habit.

Pill reminder tools in the App Store

Now if we step into the twenty-first century, we have apps for that too. Take a look in your smartphone app store and search for pill reminder tools. I found the ‘Tablet Reminder Tool’ as a simple and effective way to stay on track with my medication. Drugs.com also has a pill reminder app that allows you to put in multiple drugs and even can remind you when it is time to get a refill on your prescription.

A paper calendar or planner

If you’re not into technology, you should also consider using a paper calendar or planner to keep up with your medications or add notes about side effects or interactions that may occur.

Your community or social circle

Friends, family, and neighbors can also play a huge role in helping you keep up with PrEP. Sometimes a simple text from a friend can be the reminder that you need. Other times an accountability buddy could be taking PrEP with you as a way to assure each other is taking care of this task. Finding a close network of PrEP buddies is possible, especially among tight-knit friend groups and can be the support you need to stay consistent.

These tips can help make adhering to PrEP easier

All of these methods are ways to make this not-so-complicated task a breeze. Having tools at our disposal is the key to success when taking oral PrEP every day. When we stay accountable to ourselves, we feel accomplished, proud, and healthy. As we continue to see advances in medicine, hopefully PrEP will come in forms that last over extended periods of time and will make the need to take a pill everyday obsolete.

Share with me your strategies to stay consistent in taking your PrEP regimen. Check out my other articles here and comment below.

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