Guides

Tips to help adherence

  • First of all, get all the information on what you will need to do before you start ART:
    • How many pills?
    • How often do you need to take them?
    • How exact do you have to be with timing?
    • Are there food or storage restrictions?
    • Are there easier choices?
  • Use a weekly pill box. Then you can see if you miss a dose. If your clinic does not provide one, most chemists sell them for about £2. i-Base can sometimes provide these free – call the phoneline for details.
  • Take extra HIV drugs if you go away for a few days.
  • Keep a small supply where you may need them in an emergency. For example: in your car, at work or at a friend’s.
  • Ask friends to help you remember difficult dose times like when you go out at night.
  • Use the alarm on your mobile phone or watch or computer for all doses. Then take your drugs when it beeps! Perhaps set the alarm just after the right time, so it is a reminder and not something you rely on.
  • Link your HIV drugs to another daily routine, such as brushing your teeth.
  • If you need an online calendar service, like Google, you can set it to remind you every day. Some online calendars, including Google, can sms you at the same time every day.
  • Ask people already on ART what they do. How well are they managing?
  • Most HIV clinics can arrange for you to talk to someone who is already taking the same ART if you think that would help.
  • Make sure that you contact your hospital or clinic if you have serious difficulties with side effects. Staff there can help and discuss switching treatment if necessary.

Last updated: 1 December 2015.