April/May #163 : Doing the Dose - by Laura Whitehorn

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Newsletters
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join
Username:
Password:

Back to home » Archives » POZ Magazine issues




Table of Contents
 

The Education of Miss Universe

TAG Team

La Educación de Miss Universo




Still Gellin'

It’s Not Too Late To Start HIV Meds

Try This

Entry Inhibitor Slows Its Advance

Attack of the Killer Popcorn!

A Tale of Two Viruses

Doing the Dose

Ballroom Brotherhood

PEP Rally

Prevention for Positives




POZ Q&A: Miss America

Fly Boy

Infectiously Adorable?

POZ Picks

Texas Baby Bump

Positively Page Turning

Calling All Keyboard Cassanovas

Put a Little PEP in Your Step




Editor's Letter-April/May 2010

Your Feedback

CHAMPS Against HIV



 
Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle

Shingles

Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV


Scroll down to comment on this story.


email print

April / May 2010


Doing the Dose

by Laura Whitehorn

Swallowing your drugs day in, day out can be tough. The key to good adherence requires you to identify any obstacles—and to craft an individualized method to overcome them.

Some common strategies previously thought to help positive people take their daily meds have proved ineffective. Last fall, a study in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes reported that peer support, pager messages or a combination of the two failed to keep people on their drug schedules. The trial, involving 224 HIV-positive people in Seattle, also confirmed that the standard method of adherence support—discussions with staff at clinic visits—falls short too.

The researchers concluded that adherence strategies should be tailored for each person, because everybody has a different reason for missing meds.

For example, researchers at Harvard Medical School in Boston found that African-American men who think HIV meds are poison and cause AIDS don’t take them regularly. (Perhaps, given this belief, that’s not surprising.) The research, conducted among 214 African-American men living with HIV, determined that those who distrust antiretroviral drugs take, on average, no more than 68 percent of their prescribed doses.

HIV educator Lisa Diane White, program director at Atlanta’s longtime AIDS service organization SisterLove, says the results mirror her experiences working with African- American men. To help change the men’s minds and ensure better health, she says, “I tell them that their HIV is toxic to the body and their immune system is in need of help.” She doesn’t discredit their feelings, though, because the drugs do have toxicities.

The key is to tailor the messaging to the specific issues or obstacles of the individual. And since good adherence is the best way to ensure your virus doesn’t become resistant to your current drug regimen, we say find what works best for you and stick with it.   


Adherence Tips
If you are looking to improve your adherence—or preparing to start a new regimen—it’s important to discuss the fears or challenges you might face with your health care provider. Here are a few simple tips and tools from AIDSmeds.com that may help you better adhere to your HIV meds:

Keep your meds next to something you use regularly, on a daily basis. Examples include your coffee pot, your alarm clock or your toothbrush.

Program your cell phone to set off an alarm. People may be less likely to ask about your cell phone ringing than an alarm on a watch or other device.

If you travel frequently, always bring your meds in your carry-on luggage, and bring a few extra doses in case of flight delays and cancellations.

One-week, two-week and one-month pill boxes are available to help you lay out your meds in advance.

Some pharmacies will sort out your daily dose of meds and organize and package them in blister packs rather than putting them into pill bottles.

If you regularly need to take your meds on the go, check out portable pocket-sized pill cases. Some have alarm clocks built in.

What works for you?  Post your adherence tips as a comment below.

Search: adherence, schedules, antiretroviral drugs, prescription, toxic, resistant


Scroll down to comment on this story.



Name:

(will display; 2-50 characters)

Email:

(will NOT display)

City:

(will display; optional)

Comment (500 characters left):

(Note: The POZ team reviews all comments before they are posted. Please do not include either ":" or "@" in your comment. The opinions expressed by people providing comments are theirs alone. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Smart + Strong, which is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by people providing comments.)

Comments require captcha.
Please enter this number for verification:

| Posting Rules



Hide comments

Previous Comments:


         

[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Poll
Have you ever been diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes?
Yes
No

Survey
Pop Watch

more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2014 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.