Build a network of support to help you use meds wisely
In every worthwhile relationship, you have to adjust a part of your life to accompany your partner, especially if you live with that person.
Whether it is setting up quality time together amidst your busy schedules or accepting your partner's annoying quirks, a significant part of this relationship is working on the difficult and potentially unpleasant issues.
Being in a serious relationship with a partner is similar to being in a relationship with your medications. You have to work with your pills in order to have them work best for you.
Studies have clearly shown that a decrease in adherence is associated with an increase in treatment failure. A national survey revealed that adherence was associated with how well the regimen fit into an individual's daily lifestyle, and did not correlate with the number of pills taken or the number of medications prescribed. Having the regimen fit into an individual's daily routine is thus a huge focus of adherence.
Talk it over
One important way to address making the regimen fit into an individual's daily routine is to have a discussion with a treatment advocate (TA) or nutrition advocate (NA).
Given the limited time medical providers typically have to spend with patients, many people living with HIV leave their doctor's office confused about their HIV condition and prescribed treatments. In a community setting, TAs and NAs play a vital role in supporting people's medication adherence and in assuring accurate treatment knowledge by reinforcing and verifying understanding.
Here are some reasons why:
TAs and NAs also help individuals communicate more effectively with their doctors to make treatment decisions. Moreover, TAs and NAs offer guidance at a more comprehensive level by linking people to other resources such as housing, mental health and legal services.
What happens in a one-on-one
In one-on-one consultations with an AIDS Project Los Angeles treatment advocate, the following procedures are conducted:
APLA's Health Education and Advocacy Program is comprised of a team of six treatment advocates and two nutrition experts. This free service is available to all men and women with HIV (client and non-client), in English and Spanish. You do not need to be a registered client of APLA to access these services. For information or to make an appointment, call (323) 993-1529.
How To Reach APLA Treatment and Nutrition Advocates
Liliana Eagan - (323) 993-1484
Ruben Gamundi - (323) 993-1483
Glenn Gaylord - (323) 993-1509
Nina Marks - (323) 993-1486
John Slovick - (323) 993-1526
William Strain - (323) 993-1459
Nancy Wongvipat, M.P.H. - (323) 993-1511
Marcy Fenton, m.s., R.D. - (323) 993-1611
Janelle L'heureux, R.D. - (323) 993-1556
This article has been reprinted at The Body with the permission of AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA).
This article was provided by AIDS Project Los Angeles. It is a part of the publication Positive Living.