Adherence and Medication Management Tools
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the use of HIV medicines to treat HIV infection. People on ART take a combination of HIV medicines (called an HIV regime) every day.
ART is recommended for everyone infected with HIV. ART can’t cure HIV, but HIV medicines help people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. ART also reduces the risk of HIV transmission.
Here is a video that helps explains ART: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PEisyVjHsI
“Treatment adherence” is a fancy phrase that means taking your HIV drugs when and how you are supposed to. Treatment adherence is extremely important because it affects how well your HIV medications decrease your viral load. The lower your viral load, the healthier you are likely to be.
Adherence also helps to prevent drug resistance. If you skip a dose of your medication—even once—the virus can take that opportunity to replicate, and make more HIV. When you skip doses, you may develop strains of HIV that are resistant to the medications you are currently taking—and possibly even to medications you haven’t taken yet. If this happens, it could leave you with fewer treatment options.
There are resources like pillboxes, email or text alerts or phone apps that might help you be more adherent to your medications.
The following sites have some very helpful resources to help you manage your medications:
Care 4 Today – https://www.care4today.com/
Safe Plus Sound – www.safeplussound.org
MyMedSchedule – http://www.mymedschedule.com/
Other websites with information and where free services and phone apps can be downloaded:
MedHelper – http://medhelperapp.com/
MediSafe – http://www.medisafe.com/
MyMeds – http://www.my-meds.com/