Living with HIV: Important Tips on Taking Prescribed Medication

Adherence in taking your HIV drug medications is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. For people who were found to be positive after a HIV testing session, their immune system will fall into further decline if prescription drugs aren’t taken with the right dosage on the right time. This aspect of living with HIV is something you are fully in charge of — where you possess full autonomy over the route your health and wellbeing will head to.

While asking assistance from others to remind you of the times you’re supposed to take your medications, it’s also a personal right which you should do yourself. You shouldn’t rely solely on others to sort through your pills or refill your prescription, not even your parents or loved lone. Ingrain it in your mind that you should be the one doing these tasks.

It can get tricky to follow, yes, considering how HIV-positive patients are expected to take medicines for the rest of their lives. The second you test positive on an anonymous HIV test means you should brace yourself for a life filled with constant dosages and prescribed drugs. While this can turn to be a hassle to some people, these medicines actually help the immune system become better despite its state of compromise.

Common prescribed medications for people living with HIV include antiretroviral drugs. Although they do not cure the disease absolutely, they are successful in delaying the progression of the virus into full-blown AIDS. This kind of drug is also something that can be taken only after going to a hiv screening clinic in Singapore with a doctor’s prescription. It can’t be taken over-the-counter as there is a variation in the dosages fit for every individual with respect to their own circumstances.

A number of patients in Singapore who frequently missed the proper timing of their doses were found out to have their immune systems fall into decline. With the body’s natural defense mechanism being compromised by the virus, it is important to supply yourself the protection you need in form of the necessary pills and tablets you need to intake.

1. Put a reminder

One of the most effective strategies to take your pills on time is to set a daily reminder. Whether you decide to keep check on your phone’s calendar, through an alarm, or on a to-do list, what matters is that you won’t forget the allotted doses of your medicines. If you are in the middle of a task when it’s time for you to take your prescribed drugs, pause for a while and take it immediately. If you put it off for a couple of minutes more, there may be a chance you’ll end up forgetting to take it.

2. Begin dosage at the allotted time

Take your medicines according to a fixed schedule each day, especially when you are merely starting off. It is best to adapt an urgent mindset with regards to taking your medicines on time after you test positive after a HIV screening session. If you were given a twice-a-day dose, space your doses around twelve hours apart. New HIV drugs have developed a longer ‘half-life’, and thus they will incorporate in your system at a relatively steady rate. This is beneficial to the body so long as you don’t frequently miss out on your doses. The important thing here is to adapt good habits which can last for the rest of your life.

3. Keep medicines within view

Keeping your medicines in a visible place serves as a reminder to take it accordingly based on the dosage that was prescribed to you. If you hide it someplace where it’s out of view, chances are you are likely to forget taking your pills and in some cases, you might even forget where you placed it. It is advised to store your prescribed drugs in places where you’ll be able to find them easily, like shelves near the kitchen, your bed, or the bathroom sink.

4. Refill your medicines regularly

While refilling your medicines can beg you to head out to the nearest pharmacy and purchase more pills, it is always important never to keep your containers empty. Being declared positive on HIV testing session urges you to view your medicines as a constant in your life from that point onwards. Always remember to keep extra medicines with you should any emergencies happen. Skipping your doses for long stretches of time can affect your health, prompting your immune system to fall into further decline.

5. Attach your pill-taking to a daily routine

Snap out of the mindset that your constant pill-taking is one tiring chore or just a burden you’ll suffer for the rest of your life. It will only make adherence difficult. In fact, there are mundane tasks we do automatically on a daily basis without even thinking of it. Most of us grew up inclined to brush our teeth after dinner every night, or check if we’ve brought along with us our smartphones as we head out for the day. It is in these little tasks where you can incorporate taking your medicines so you won’t forget.

For instance, if you take your pills just right before brushing your teeth every day, you can peg it to become a habitual routine. Over time, you might even feel amiss if you don’t do it which will remind you to take those tablets!

Constantly taking your prescribed medications may initially feel like a chore or more of a burden, but you have to remember it is crucial in order to protect your body. With a compromised immune system, you become more vulnerable to diseases and illnesses. Taking your medicines on proper doses is one step towards giving your body the protection it needs, hence there is urgency in proper adherence especially when it comes to people living with HIV.

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