HIV Case Manager & Volunteer Coordinator, Native American AIDS Project, San Francisco, Calif.
Starting HIV medications can be a very overwhelming process for many people, especially for the younger (under 25) and newly diagnosed populations. Taking a pill every day is a subtle reminder that you are HIV positive and that can discourage some people from sticking to their regimen due to depression or fear of others finding out.
A few things to keep in mind: First, those pills are going to preserve your immune system from being assaulted by HIV, and ultimately cause you to have fewer complications from living with HIV. In addition, getting your viral load undetectable makes you less likely to transmit the virus to sex partners.
Another big concern for people adjusting to medications is the side effects from the meds. The key thing with side effects is that theyre your body's response to now having this medication in its system every day; once your body adjusts to the medications (sometime between two and four weeks), most of your side effects will subside.
Just keep sticking to your regimen and give it some time. If you are having trouble remembering when to take your pills or if you took your pills, try using a pill tray -- that way you will always know if you took your meds or not by simply looking at the tray.