The first thing I tell people, don’t beat yourself up. Communicate with your provider. Let them know if you’re going through something and you just can’t take it. You could be undetectable and on you meds and doing fine. Then you lose your job, you lose your home, you lose your insurance. Something really bad happens, you have a relationship break up, or a death in the family. All these things can affect your mood, your stability, and impact how well you would adhere with your medications. So make sure, don’t just fall out of care and just say well I’m just going to deal with this myself, let it fall to the wayside. Go back to the doctor’s office or whoever’s providing your care and ask them for help. Let them know what’s going on. A lot of physician’s offices, have case managers, social workers who can actually assist with some of the things that you think you may not need help for or you think you can deal with yourself.
We all need help at some time so realize that you taking your medication is linked to all the stuff you’re going through in life. So to ask for help and openly communicate, because if you don’t tell your medical provider what’s going on in your life, how are we supposed to figure it out.
Dr. David Malebranche, MD, MPH, a clinician-researcher specializing in HIV, gives the lowdown on all things HIV care and treatment in the latest installment of the #AskTheHIVDoc video series.