Sticking with your treatment plan.

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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 get you to 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 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, your treatment options, and be your own advocate.

Real person living with HIV.

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.

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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.

  • 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