The importance of adherence
Taking the correct dose at the right time, as directed by your doctor, is called adherence. It’s a daily commitment and an important part of staying healthy.
Adherence is important because a certain amount of medication needs to stay in your blood stream to fight HIV. It also lowers your risk of developing drug resistance.
HIV drug resistance
Forgetting a dose of medication can give HIV an opportunity to mutate or “outsmart” your medication, making it no longer work effectively. This is called drug resistance.
Consider why it's important to take a medication with a high resistance barrier.
What’s the risk?
Take this quiz to find out more about your risk for missing doses and how that may increase your risk for developing drug resistance. We’ll send you your results and other helpful information for you to review with your healthcare provider at your next appointment.
Even if you only miss a few doses of your treatment, you can increase your risk for developing HIV drug resistance, which means:
- Current HIV medication may stop working*
- Future treatment options may become limited
- HIV drug resistance can also be passed on to others
*This could cause your viral load to go up and your CD4+ cell count to go down, weakening your immune system.
How a missed dose can affect HIV treatment levels.
Missing doses of your HIV treatment gives HIV a chance to bounce back:
Planning for success.
Being prepared and committed to taking your HIV medication the right way starts with talking to your healthcare provider. Here are a few of the things you can discuss with them:
- Other medicines you take, including vitamins and herbal supplements
- Any issues that might make adherence difficult, such as difficulty swallowing pills
- How much HIV medication you should take
- When and how to take HIV medication
- Your daily schedule
- What kind of side effects can I expect?
- Can my weight or health conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure be affected by HIV medications?
Life can be unpredictable. Here are some tactics to help you stay on top of your treatment:
- Work your daily dose into your routine by pairing it with an established habit, like brushing your teeth.
- Use an app or diary to record your medication.
- Plan ahead for refills so you don’t run out.