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Seven Considerations When Starting HIV Medications

October 23, 2015


5. Fight Shame and Stigma

5. Fight Shame and Stigma

While we have made tremendous progress fighting HIV-related stigma, it continues to impact anyone living with the virus. I have had clients who skipped their evening dose of medications because they were at a business conference and constantly around colleagues. Another refused to take his medications on weekends when he had custody of his children for fear they would ask about his pill bottles. Yet another refused meds all together because she lived with her mother and hadn't disclosed her status. In each case, stigma from external sources and internal shame about HIV impacted medication adherence. It is important for people starting meds to prepare themselves to experience stigma and work with their support system and health care providers to eradicate any shame they feel that affects their own sense of worthiness.

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See Also
HIV Medications: When to Start and What to Take -- A Guide From
More on When to Begin HIV Treatment


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