December #160 : Staying in Care - by Tim Murphy

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Table of Contents

Our Best Shot

How Stigma Kills

Hero Worship

Staying in Care

Peace of Mind

Hello, Aloe!

Tip Sheet

Fewer C's

New Guides for Kids

And We Quote

Gifts that Give

Spin Cycle

Viewer Discretion

Crimson Tide


Fine(r) China

Muy Bien

Self-Prescribed Therapy


Editor's Letter-December 2009

Your Feedback-December 2009

GMHC Treatment Issues-December 2009

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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December 2009

Staying in Care

by Tim Murphy

How to avoid missing doses and appointments.

Most cell phones have alarms you can set to remind you to take meds and get to appointments. Or use a paper calendar or notebook to record appointments, mark off day and nighttime doses and keep info about meds, clinic contacts, etc. (Mark Rabiner, MD, an HIV doc who works with homeless people in New York City, suggests keeping a small version of this info sheet in your purse or wallet.)

It’s easier to remember doses if you sort pills once a week, using a container that divvies up day and nighttime doses. You’ll avoid having to sort them when you’re tired, and you won’t forget whether you’ve taken a dose.

This will keep you on track with all those doses and clinic visits. “You want to be alive for something good,” says Allan Rodriguez, MD, of Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital. Eric German says he gets his mojo from his mom and nieces. List things that bring you joy and post it by your meds to remind you why you’re swallowing them. If nothing’s raising your spirits, talk to someone—you might be depressed. You can get help for that, too.

If you’re feeling hopeless or overwhelmed by life, don’t be afraid or ashamed to call your doctor, clinic, AIDS organization, family or friends to ask for help. Many offices have case managers and social workers so you don’t have to pull off these visits alone. And, Rodriguez says, “if you don’t think you’re being treated fairly [by caregivers], you have the right to change.” So speak up!

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