HIV & Me: A Guide to Living With HIV for Hispanics - Step 6
Once your health care provider recommends that you begin treatment, it's important to consider how treatment will change your life. Are you ready mentally, as well as physically, to take medications every day? Remember: Most HIV specialists say that you have to take your medications exactly as prescribed, at least 95 percent of the time, to keep HIV under control and prevent it from becoming "resistant." HIV that is resistant can make your medications less effective.
This means you have to be certain that taking your medications will become a central part of your daily life. Be honest with your HIV specialist about anything that may make it more difficult for you to take all of your medications on time. If you have a case manager or a counselor, talk with them about this important issue as well.
Without a doubt, the commitment to taking HIV medications will be challenging. This is especially true for women, who generally have lots of family responsibilities to deal with.
However, you have a good chance of keeping HIV under control with the very first combination of medications that works for you. If this combination successfully controls your HIV, and if you take each and every pill as prescribed, you may not have to change medications for a long time. Here are some things to consider:
What if you aren't always able to take all your medications on time?
Your Medication Schedule Shouldn't Be Too Complex
"I've been on my regimen for a little over two years. I've never missed one dosage. I have my big pill organizer for the week. I just fill it once a week with my meds and my vitamins. I always take them. I'd rather skip on my vitamins. But I never skip on my meds."
-- Rafael Abadia, diagnosed in 1993
In some cases, you may have to schedule taking your HIV medicine around meals or take it with or without certain foods. Even if you are depressed or busy, you will still have to take your medications as prescribed every single day. So, before you begin HIV treatment, you must ask yourself: "Am I really ready?"
Plan How You Will Deal With Side Efects if They Ocur
Your Mental Health AND Surroundings Are Critical
This article was provided by TheBody.com. It is a part of the publication HIV and Me.