What meds are out there?
Types of Drug Treatments
I'm young - why should I take meds?
If I eat lots of fruits and veggies can I stay healthy without meds?
Are there side effects to the meds?
If the side effects get too much to handle - can I stop taking my meds?
I don't have enough to buy my meds!
How do I remember to take my meds?
What's the big deal about stopping and starting my meds when I want?
I heard I can die if I mix recreational drugs and my medication - is that true?
I heard there is a drug you can take to get rid of HIV, is this true?

How do I remember to take my meds?

When you're on HIV meds, you're not just taking a pill every night before bed. You might be taking a whole bunch of pills at different times in the day. It's really easy to forget to take a dose, or to take it at the wrong time. Drug companies are now starting to listen to people living with HIV and are coming out with drugs that are easier to take. Talk with you doctor about your schedule and he or she can prescribe you a drug that is easiest for you to take.

Some people find it a drag to carry around a whole bunch of pills wherever they go. Some people feel embarrassed about taking their meds in front of people at school, work or when they're out having a good time.

Here are some ideas from other HIV-positive youth on how to remember to take your meds…….

Tips to remember to take your meds

  1. Get a stop watch and set it to ‘beep’ (set the alarm) whenever you have to take your meds.
  2. Buy a 7-compartement medication holder and put your meds in there.
  3. Buy a few 7-compartment dividers & keep them in different places so you always have your meds close to you.
  4. Put little notes around the house to remind you to take meds (so, if you take meds first thing in the morning put a note on your alarm clock).
  5. Set the ‘reminder’ function on your calendar/palm pilot.
  6. Get friends/family to remind you (‘2 heads are better than1’).
  7. Write down on a calendar/daytimer when you need to take your meds.
  8. Set your cell phone alarm.
  9. Text message yourself or get your friends to.
  10. Take your meds during a time period that you do something everyday (for example every morning you leave for school at 8 am – you also take your meds.)
  11. Write a reminder on your hand.
  12. Buy a Program Beeper from your drug store. This is a medication holder that you can program to ‘beep’ when you need to take your meds.
  13. Mix ‘n match these ideas! Use a couple at the same time….

If you're having a hard time remembering to take your meds, you should know everyone with HIV has this problem.

Talk to your doctor/nurse/counsellor: they might be able to help you work out a better way to take your meds or they may put you on different meds that are easier to take.

Hospital for Sick Children University of Toronto Positive Youth Outreach CATIE