Post Natal Nurse Home Visitor Program
Pharmacy Residency (PGY1)

Treatment and medications

Providers prescribe medicines because they are important for your health. There are a lot of different medicines for people living with HIV. Education and adherence about these medicines is important. Learn and stick with the plan.

Know your medicines
Knowing your medicines is important to helping you keep track of them. You need to know the name of your medicines and the dosage (how much to take). You can find this out by reading your prescription label or talking to your provider or pharmacist.

Taking prescribed medications are important to manage HIV. A way to avoid serious complications is through medication. Also, you can avoid complications through lifestyle changes. You know your life. Just change what will help you be healthy. Decide the best time of day to take medication. See tips below.

Forgetting to take your medicines
Sometimes life gets busy. Do not forget to take your medicine. That is what adherence is about. Here are some tips to help you remember:
  • Use a pillbox to sort your medicines.
  • Set an alarm to remind you when to take your medicines.
  • Put your medicines in a place you will see them as a reminder.
  • For medicines that you take once a day:
    • Forgot morning dose – take later that day when you remember
    • Forgot evening dose – take before bed if you remember
  • For medicines that you take two or more times a day:
    • If you forget to take one dose, skip it that day and go to your next dose at the planned time.
    • Never take two doses of your medicines at the same time.
If you have concerns about your medicines
Some people living with HIV stop taking their medicines. They may stop because they have questions or concerns. Questions are good. But don’t let that stop you from improving your health. Write down questions. Talk to your primary care provider. Answers can help you feel more comfortable.

Alcohol and medicines
When mixed with alcohol, some HIV medicines can cause complications. Alcohol can make it hard to control your viral load.
  • Women should drink no more than one drink per day*
  • Men should drink no more than two drinks per day*
  • *A drink is 12 oz. beer, 5 oz. wine or 1 oz. spirits.
  • If you do drink alcohol, check with your healthcare provider first and follow these guidelines:
    • Do not binge drink (drinking a lot of alcohol in a short period of time).
    • Do not drink on an empty stomach.
Traveling with your medicines
Living with HIV shouldn’t discourage you from traveling. Just make sure you’re prepared.
  • Bring more than enough medicine and supplies.
  • Traveling several weeks? Arrange medicine a month ahead. Ask your pharmacy or medication access technician.
  • Pack them in a cool, dry place.
  • Keep your medicines with you. Do not put them in your bags to be checked.
  • Leave labels on any medicines or supplies.
  • Look at the Transportation Security Administration website for information on traveling with medicines.