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Word on the Street: Advice on Adhering to HIV Treatment

June 14, 2012


Ben Young, M.D., Ph.D.

Ben Young, M.D., Ph.D, Executive Medical Director, Rocky Mountain CARES, Boulder, Colo.

People sometimes worry about hitting the bull's-eye every time, every dose. It's not necessary with today's medications. (We get this question a lot in my "Ask the Experts" forum.) What is essential is to find the easiest, or most reliable, part of the day (or night) and stick with it (give or take a few hours). Try a pillbox, or clock reminder. Some folks use their email or text messages to help. Link taking your medication to a routine, daily activity: brushing teeth, checking email, going to the bathroom, eating, etc.

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See Also
6 Reasons Why People Skip Their HIV Meds
Adherence Tips

Reader Comments:

Comment by: rj (boston mass) Sun., Apr. 10, 2016 at 4:56 am EDT
my cd-4 is really low like 25----wut can I do to increase it
my viral load was sky high--it just dropped down a lot---
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Comment by: nonhlanhla (pmb) Tue., Jul. 8, 2014 at 11:09 am EDT
Pls advice me,im lost my cd4 is 839,what to do to increase it, is it safe to start Fdc when reach my cd4 count is 500
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Comment by: regtan (Singapore) Fri., Feb. 7, 2014 at 3:47 pm EST
Taking your medications daily requires discipline in oneself. It is more of your determination to adhere on a strict regime to seek a better quality of life in the distance future. Love to treasure your life ! Not waste it !
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Comment by: Bruce (San Diego) Wed., Dec. 18, 2013 at 6:29 pm EST
Just do it it first thing in the am when you get up. It's just about doing it at the same time. Can't forget. Been doing it for years.
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Comment by: emeno umanah (akawibom) Sun., Sep. 8, 2013 at 5:19 am EDT
will i stop seeing my peroid if i have hiv will i feel inside of me will i have disentre
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Comment by: Robert (Florida) Thu., Oct. 11, 2012 at 8:15 pm EDT
I take my HIV medication at bedtime that way I do not feel the side effect, I take Truvada and Viramune Xr, I only wish I could find a good doctor that would help me with my chronic complication with sinus congestion&post Nasal drip into my throat that coures sinus infection which I have to take 5 to 8 time each year antibiotic,just to feel ok, can someone help me with this problem
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Comment by: Ms Sheila Ann (Ontario,Canada) Fri., Aug. 24, 2012 at 3:07 pm EDT
I have missed my meds twice so far,on different day's. when I miss do I take them again with my meds for that day. Or do I leave them alone.
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Comment by: Rick (Guadalajara, Mexico) Wed., Jun. 20, 2012 at 8:12 pm EDT
Thanks for ur comments, but i find that the biggest problem to adherence to hiv meds, are the side effects. Thats what i find hard to deal with, for instance Truvada is great except that makes my stomach to bloat and gives me some bone pain, too. Then i take Norvir and Reyataz, and these make me dizzy or clumsy. Best of luck to u.
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Comment by: Philip (Los Angeles) Wed., Jun. 20, 2012 at 6:14 pm EDT
I've never missed my medication because I take them every morning immediately after feeding my cats. They have to be fed, I have to take my meds. It is a win for them and myself.
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Comment by: John (Kentucky) Mon., Oct. 31, 2011 at 9:20 pm EDT
I can seem to remember to take them no matter what. Even if I sit them out. I'm A.D.D. I take medication for that and forget. I think it may be from my body blocks them out and affects my add. I have many side effects and make me really sick.
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Replies to this comment:
Comment by: Lin-I (San gabriel,CA) Tue., Feb. 19, 2013 at 11:18 pm EST
You can try some Chinese herb supplement. They do not kill any virus, just improving your immune system and no side effect. There are some HIV postive turn to negative cases happened in China. They took Chinese herb only.

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