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A Day in the Life Video Series

Keeping up with HIV meds often means having to weave daily doses into a busy life. How do other HIVers do it? In each episode of this video series, we'll take a peek into the day-to-day routine of a person who's living with HIV, taking HIV meds, and dealing with situations that get in the way of adherence.

Garbo Chang

Episode 13: Garbo Chang

Age: 48

Home: San Francisco, Calif.

Diagnosed: 1988

Summary: "At this point in my life, I really want to maintain my health," says Garbo Chang, who has been living with HIV for 25 years. Garbo works 9 to 5 all week, and budgeting time and money for relaxation is a top priority for relieving stress. This video follows Garbo aboard a cruise ship with good friends; he shares his fun experiences, as well as tips for adhering to HIV meds at home, on the job and on the high seas.

J'Mia Edwards

Episode 12: J'Mia Edwards

Age: 32

Home: Washington, D.C.

Diagnosed: 2005

Summary: "A lot of people think I'm perfect, and I'm far from perfect." You may have seen J'Mia Edwards in the powerful documentary The Other City -- but being an inspiration to others doesn't make anyone immune to adherence challenges. J'Mia -- single mom of three, full-time student and counselor at an HIV organization for Washington, D.C., youth -- talks about how she gets support in her busy life. "I do everything that most everybody does -- probably do it 10 or 20 times better!"

George Burgess

Episode 11: George Burgess

Age: 59

Home: Atlanta, Ga.

Diagnosed: 1995

Summary: "I had to be adherent on several levels," says George Burgess, who used street drugs for 27 years before his HIV diagnosis. "One, taking my medication; two, going to meetings and making sure that I remain drug free." A longtime HIV resource specialist, George shares his daily routine -- including one way he's found for helping his meds go down a bit more sweetly.

Robert Breining

Episode 10: Robert Breining

Age: 33

Home: Philadelphia, Pa.

Diagnosed: 2001

Summary: Cyber-activist Robert is used to connecting with community online. After having a rare allergic reaction to his first regimen, Robert was hesitant to start HIV meds again -- so he took to and POZ I AM, the social network he created, for information and support. Robert speaks on life, love, disclosure and finding a regimen that's nearly side effect-free.

Nelson Vergel

Episode 9: Nelson Vergel

Age: 51

Home: Houston, Texas

Diagnosed: 1986

Summary: "I never had an undetectable viral load until three years ago," says longtime treatment activist Nelson Vergel. Between HIV meds and supplements, Nelson takes about 45 pills a day -- and he's on the last available HIV drug combination he can try. Nelson shares how he stays fit, relaxed and on top of his complicated regimen -- and how he keeps perspective, and manages his fears.

Fortunata Kasege

Episode 8: Fortunata Kasege

Age: 38

Home: Houston, Texas / New York City

Diagnosed: 1997

Summary: "The car didn't kill me, and I'm not going to let HIV kill me either!" Advocate, single mom and Tanzanian émigré Fortunata Kasege talks about keeping up with her twice-a-day med regimen -- even following the car accident that left her temporarily in a wheelchair.

Petra and Efrain

Episode 7: Petra Berrios and Efrain Carrasquillo

Ages: 51 and 48

Home: Bronx, N.Y.

Diagnosed: 1986 and 1990

Summary: "There's days that she's my rock," says Efrain Carrasquillo of his wife, Petra Berrios. She says the same about him; the couple met in 2004 and married soon after. Like anyone living with HIV, both have days when they're sick of taking HIV meds. They share tips they use to get through rough patches.

Khafre Abif

Episode 6: Khafre Abif

Age: 45

Home: Atlanta, Ga.

Diagnosed: 1991

Summary: Even in the '90s, while working and raising a young son, Khafre Abif stayed mindful of sticking to his HIV meds. "I cannot be a successful father, activist, writer, or advocate if I'm not taking care of myself first," he says. He shares his tips for staying healthy and adherent.

Brooke Davidoff

Episode 5: Brooke Davidoff

Age: 33

Home: Seattle, Wash.

Diagnosed: 2010

Summary: "Why should I have to choose between groceries and my medication?" Brooke Davidoff asks. Brooke started taking HIV meds to protect her son while she was pregnant. Now her family can no longer afford for her to take them. Brooke and her husband speak on this most objectionable adherence challenge.

Robert Darrow

Episode 4: Robert Darrow

Age: 53

Home: Shreveport, La.

Diagnosed: 1985

Summary: "I'm so happy to wake up each day and do what I love," says Robert. He's talking about the community theater he runs, as well as the AIDS service organization he cofounded and is still involved with after more than two decades. Robert shares several tricks that help him take his HIV meds religiously.

Eva Hansen

Episode 3: Eva Hansen

Age: 69

Home: Atlanta, Ga.

Diagnosed: 1983

Summary: "If there's a plane leaving, I want to be on it!" says longtime HIV survivor Eva Hansen of one of her favorite hobbies. Eva shares why she adores traveling -- and what she's learned about trotting the globe with HIV meds in tow.

Tree Alexander

Episode 2: Tree Alexander

Age: 25

Home: Brooklyn, N.Y.

Diagnosed: 2006

Summary: Tree Alexander was diagnosed around age 20, started meds right away, and became homeless for a short time afterward. He shows us around his Brooklyn apartment, and shares how family and friends help him stay healthy.

Damaries Cruz

Episode 1: Damaries Cruz

Age: 41

Home: Deerfield Beach, Fla.

Diagnosed: 1991

Summary: Damaries Cruz discusses her fears about starting meds, the strategies she uses to make sure she adheres to her meds and how her circle of friends help her get through every day.

Copyright © 2013 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

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