Ask POZ : I'm finding it difficult to take my HIV meds regularly. What can I do to improve my adherence?

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December 1, 2013

I'm finding it difficult to take my HIV meds regularly. What can I do to improve my adherence?

Stuart Federman
Stuart Federman
Stuart D. Federman, PharmD, AAHIVP
Gateway Apothecary
Saint Louis, MO

Taking your HIV medications is one of the most important things that you can do, along with seeing your physician. There are many things that can be done to help with adherence to the meds.

Try using a specialty HIV pharmacy, but make sure you know your pharmacist wherever you go. Most pharmacies can help with refill reminders. If your regimen is too difficult for you to take, there are different options you can explore.

Other adherence ideas include:
1. Have the pharmacy put your meds in a blister card or shrink-wrap.
2. Put your meds in a day-by-day pill holder.
3. Set an alarm on your phone or computer to remind you.
4. Take your meds around events in your day that will remind you.
5. Move your meds to a place where you see them (for example, near your keys) each day.
6. Use a smart phone app (such as iStayHealthy) to keep track of your meds.

Search: adherence, reminder

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