The Importance of Routine in Maintaining U=U
Last updated: August 2023
If you are newly diagnosed with HIV, one thing that I am sure you have heard about is medication adherence. Medication adherence is when you are taking the appropriate medicine from a healthcare provider as prescribed.
Someone who adheres to their medication can maintain a suppressed viral load and ultimately become undetectable. If you are undetectable that means you are untransmittable.
Living with HIV is a lifetime of management and can come with challenges and new ways of approaching your own health. It took me a few months to really fully adjust to taking one pill a day and sharing my HIV status.
Taking a daily pill can help you achieve an undetectable viral level. From my personal experience, taking a pill a day can be overwhelming, especially if you forget things often.
A great way to remember to take your pill is to set a reminder or an alarm. I also realized that incorporating it into something you do daily is a great way to remember. Each morning I make sure to use mouth wash and my prescription bottle is right next to it. Whenever I use my mouthwash in the morning, I also take my medication right after.
Another great way to remember to take your daily pill is by having a social support system. If you are close to a family member or a roommate, they can also help remind you to take your pill. I remind my partner to take his PrEP just like he reminds me to take my medication.
Is your partner taking PrEP?
Navigating side effects still? Talk to your doctor
I have heard many people do not want to take their medication due to side effects. If you have been taking your medication for awhile and you are still having side effects, you should talk to your medical provider.
There are other options and medications that you can switch to if the current one is not working well with your body. Taking control of your health starts with speaking up and asking the appropriate questions.
For a very long time I was nervous and hesitant about taking my medication. I was unsure about exactly what it was going to do to my body. All I knew was that I was now living with HIV and that I had to take antiretroviral medication to lower the amount of HIV in my body.
After a few months, I realized that taking ownership of the daily pill meant that I was taking control of my situation and doing all I could to stay healthy. Taking a pill everyday also reminds me to stay active and to continue going to the gym. I try to at least go to the gym about 5 times a week and incorporate both cardio and weightlifting in my weekly routine.
I found out I was living with HIV in the ______.
I wanted to share this with you all because we all need a little reminder of why it is important to take your daily HIV medication. We all want to live a healthy and long-lasting life with the ones that we love. Please continue to take your daily medication and stay strong.
Will you get a flu shot this year?