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Preparing to Start HIV/AIDS Treatment
Part of HIV Medications: When to Start and What to Take

December 2010

Preparing to Start Treatment

Once your doctor recommends that you begin treatment, it's important to consider how treatment will change your life. Are you ready in every way -- mentally as well as physically? Remember: Each missed dose of an HIV medication may increase the risk that your meds will lose their ability to keep your HIV under control. This means you have to be certain that taking your medications will become a central part of your daily life.

No doubt this commitment will be challenging. However, you have a good chance of keeping HIV under control with the first combination of medications that works for you. If this combination successfully suppresses the virus, and if you take each and every pill prescribed, you may not have to change medications for a long time.

What if you aren't always able to take all your medications on time? This may cause your first combination of medications to fail. If this happens, it can get harder and harder to keep HIV under control with each successive drug combination. So it's crucial to identify a combination you can stick to, before you start treatment.

Here are some things to consider:

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