HIV and the Church


Caring for and supporting individuals and communities living with HIV/AIDS can be a worthwhile, yet challenging task. It is extremely important for the health of the individual living with HIV to adhere to their medications. Treatment adherence refers to taking the correct amount of medications at the correct time, as recommended by a licensed healthcare provider. [1] HIV treatment adherence helps people with HIV/AIDS live longer, healthier lives. In addition, not only does HIV treatment adherence help keep the individual with HIV healthier, but it helps protect the health of those around them and their community as a whole. Here are some tips to help encourage and come alongside an individual living with HIV to adhere to their daily medications and treatment regimen-

·      Ask them if they have a system that reminds them to take their medications daily. Some people living with HIV prefer someone to text or call daily to remind him or her. Others prefer a reminder notification on their cell phone or a phone alarm.

·      Encourage them to make taking medications part of their daily routine by lumping a daily activity, such as eating or sleeping, with taking medications. Be sure they are planning ahead so they do not run out of medications.

·      Identify any perceived barriers and offer solutions. Some people choose not to take their medications because of the way it makes them feel or they have other mental health issues making it difficult to adhere to medications. Help the individual with HIV understand why they are having trouble taking their medications. Tell them that medications can help them from becoming ill and encourage them to join a support group. [2]

·      Let them know they do not have to feel ashamed to tell their doctor that they are having a hard time sticking to their treatment regimen. Life and personal reasons often get in the way of taking consistent medications, and doctors can offer tips and advice to help them adhere to their medications.

For more information on the benefits and importance of taking HIV medications as prescribed, check out the blog post titled, Why Do I Need To Take My HIV Medications?

If you would like to serve someone living with or affected by HIV through your church, email HIV@saddleback.com or call 949-609-8555.

 

 

Footnotes

1. HIV Treatment Adherence. (2016, February 14). Retrieved September 06, 2017, from https://www.poz.com/basics/hiv-basics/hiv-treatment-adherence

2. Healthy Living - Treatment Adherence. (n.d.). Retrieved September 11, 2017, from http://www.hivaidsinitiative.com/living/healthyliving/



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