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Me and My HIV Horse-Sized Pill Before Bed

June 8, 2012

Aaron Laxton is an avid video blogger living in St. Louis, Mo. He was diagnosed with HIV on June 6, 2011. Check out Aaron's website, or find him on social media!

This article was provided by TheBody.
See Also
6 Reasons Why People Skip Their HIV Meds
Word on the Street: Advice on Adhering to HIV Treatment
More Personal Accounts of Staying Adherent to HIV/AIDS Medications

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Charles (New Jersey) Thu., Jun. 21, 2012 at 10:00 am UTC
Aaron, I got alot out of your video about the "nightly ritual". I too am living with HIV. Diagnosed on July 26, 2010. VL when diagnosed was 44,885 CD4 202....Now I am undetectable with a CDA count at 576 and rising. I noticed in your video that you held up the bottle of your med...Think it was Atripla. Yes it is a big pill, big in size and big in importance. I wonder if this will help others taking hiv meds. I have a pill box with seven compartments. On a Sunday evening, after taking my HIV med, I "stock the box" with my multi-vitamin, B and D vitamin supplement and my Atripla. I go to the Atripla bottle once a week. After that I go to my pill box. I take the multi and supplements in the morning and the Atripla at night right before bed. I used to get all down when going to the actual prescription bottle each night and find it easier to take my med out of the pill box rather than the bottle the Atripla as it came from my pharmacy. A mind game? Yes.....But living with HIV is a perpetual mind game anyway. Couple that with living a healthy lifestyle, eating right, limiting stress, exercising every day and I find that I am doing quite well both mentally and physically. Over the course of time my hiv med just looks like another vitamin to me. OF course I know otherwise, but I play the mind game to stay adherent. I have only missed two doses since starting my med since July 26, 2010. If you think this approach would help others please consider a web video about this approach. All in this together and for eachother is my motto. Take Care...Charles
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Comment by: Aaron M. Laxton (St. Louis) Tue., Jun. 19, 2012 at 10:36 pm UTC
Robert- Yes you are right there are a lot of people that are not as lucky as to be on one-pill a day fixed regimen. I am thankful that I am able to take atripla but the message definitely needs to get out about all the therapies. David- I am glad that things are working out for you. ADAP is a program that helps a lot of patients however right now those programs are facing a lot of budget crunches. That is why it is so important for HIV/AIDS patients and their allies to advocate on their behalf.John- We all do what we can. I just ask that people spread the word about my channel so I can reach more people and keep the fight going.
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Comment by: Anonymous Mon., Jun. 18, 2012 at 12:45 pm UTC
"young people have a cavalier attitude about HIV"?!? What planet do you live on? Have you actually disclosed to any young people lately? This type of vlog is exactly why the body makes me cringe.

Please do not exaggerate the complications of HIV to those who need prevention. Do not pretend that the problems it causes are inevitable and immediate. As soon as they find friends with one pill and manageable copays, young people will assume everything youve said is histrionic and you will create the very perception you claim to fight. Meanwhile, when you describe the cost of antiretrovirals and their impact on society without challenging the system which inflates their price, you mischaracterize us as economic parasites. This only demonizes people with HIV.

We do not need more fear about HIV. The current fearmongering about the virus is unfocused and thus ineffective. For fear to be effective, it must be considered relevant to one's behaviors. I can watch ads for seatbelt safety all day, but if i dont thik i'll ever get into an accident, I won't wear them. We need a more realistic understanding of how people come to be HIV positive, and a a rehash that it is expensive and sucky. When you do that, you just make it suckier
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Comment by: Robert (Netherlands) Thu., Jun. 14, 2012 at 4:30 pm UTC
Hello Aaron,
It seems to me you are one of the lucky ones that can take only one pill a day albeit horse size! Most long term survivors like me still have loads and loads of pills to take twice a day, a few of them as big as the one you are taking. However I think you are doing a wonderful job to make young people aware of the fact that having HIV is not just taking a little pill a day, much more comes into it as you well know. Continue your work, it is certainly better that young people get the message from one of their peers, instead of a patronizing older HIV positive man like me.
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Comment by: David Sauer (Barstow, CA) Thu., Jun. 14, 2012 at 3:50 pm UTC
What a great message to put out there Aaron! Totally love your video blogs and you have such a soothing sincere voice :) I had the same nightly ritual for nearly a year. 3 weeks ago I had to switch to one of the latest meds, Complera. So now I've got a daily ritual instead. But you so right in that it is not as easy as just taking one pill and everything is just peachy. I am fortunate to be in a program where my meds are covered but there is a cost out there for someone and there are people not as fortunate as you or I. Keep up the great blogs and thank you for speaking so honestly about being HIV positive and how that changes your life. Take care!
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Comment by: John (San Francisco) Thu., Jun. 14, 2012 at 1:24 pm UTC
Hey Aaron,
Thanks for the vid - I totally agree with what you say about younger gay guys & they're lackadaisical attitude about HIV. I've been Poz since 1988 and I know onlt too well about 'Horse Pills' - it's not an easy "oh just take a pill & it will all be better" - no, far from it.....
Thanks again Aaron
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