Sticking with your treatment plan.

Model portrayal above

Model portrayal above

Why is it important for me to stick to my HIV treatment plan?

Sticking to treatment as prescribed helps make sure there's always enough medicine in your body to help fight the virus and help you get to and stay undetectable. Undetectable means that there is so little virus in the blood that a lab test can't measure it, and getting there can help you live a longer and healthier life with HIV. It might seem challenging at first, but it is an important step to help you stay healthy. And it goes a long way in helping to stop the virus. By sticking to treatment as prescribed, you can be in control of managing your HIV viral load. Current research shows that taking HIV treatment as prescribed and getting to and staying undetectable prevents transmitting HIV through sex.

When do I start treatment?

You can start treatment as soon as your healthcare provider (HCP) recommends it. Some treatments can even be started the same day that you are diagnosed.

Are there ways to help me keep up with my routine?

There are many strategies that can help you keep up with your HIV treatment. Here are a few that might help:

  • Create a consistent routine for taking your medication, going to appointments, and checking in with your healthcare providers
  • Set up automatic refills with your pharmacy
  • Make sure to plan for your medicine routine if you're going to be away from home

It's important to talk to your healthcare provider about treatment plans that can fit into your routine.

How do I work with my healthcare provider to find what treatment is right for me?

It starts by having a conversation. During any appointment with your healthcare provider, know that nothing is off-limits. Do not be scared to share your thoughts or feelings about your HIV treatment or your journey living with HIV. Also, do not be afraid to talk to your healthcare provider about any other issues you may be facing, such as mental health or any alcohol or substance use issues. They have what's best for you in mind and sharing your honest experience with them can leave you feeling empowered and in control of your own health.

Who might be part of my support team to help me manage my HIV?

There are a lot of people and places to turn to for HIV support. When you have HIV, it's important to remember that you're not alone. There are many different types of people who make up your support team. They can be:

  • doctors
  • nurses
  • pharmacists
  • physician assistants
  • nurse practitioners
  • psychologists and psychiatrists
  • dentists
  • specialists
  • case managers
  • counselors
  • social workers
  • treatment educators
  • family and friends

You are also part of your support team. So, continue to learn about HIV and your treatment options, and be your own advocate.

Real person living with HIV.

Living with HIV: Aalia | Handling my business

AALIA: Before HIV, I was living for everyone else. Trying to be a people pleaser. And honestly, I feel like this made me walk my truth.

I stopped pointing the blame.

And I looked at myself.

And I told myself, right now, I really have to live because it made me stand up. And handle my business.

Take care of myself. So that I can live. So that I can get to, you know, achieve those goals.

HIV was just one ... it seemed like a big problem at the time. But now I look at it as just ... one part of me.

The main thing that I’ve learned or experienced is that treatment equals prevention.

You must manage. You must commit.

And ... think about it as a new life.

Partnering with my healthcare provider

Working together with your healthcare provider helps them find the right HIV treatment for you—one that can fit your life and your schedule. Here are some topics you can discuss with your healthcare provider at your next appointment.

Living with HIV: Aalia | Handling my business

Topics you might want to discuss with your healthcare provider.

No questions are off-limits when you meet with them, and it's great to come prepared. Here are some topics to discuss with them at your next visit.

Person discussing their HIV treatment plan with a doctor.
  • Your social life, sex life, and if you smoke, drink, or use drugs
  • Your daily routine and how HIV medicine can fit into it
  • Any other health conditions you have
  • Any medicines you are taking
  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
  • The importance of adherence to HIV medication
  • The importance of avoiding HIV drug resistance
  • Your work or school schedule
  • Your family life and living situation
  • Any side effects you might be experiencing
Cartoon image of patient discussing their HIV questions with a healthcare practitioner.