Health

HIV: Management of Frustration

If you have HIVIt can be difficult to understand how to navigate the periods when setbacks make it difficult to deal with your condition.Stick to and navigate your treatment Relationship, And maintaining your overall health during those periods can be overwhelming.

But there are ways you can overcome those difficult times.

Stay in touch with your doctor

One of the biggest parts of the effect HIV treatment Stick to you dosage Regimen.If you take your medicine daily and follow your doctor’s instructions, you will help you Immune system Stay strong so that you have better equipment to fight the infection.

It is important to talk to your doctor if you have any problems with taking or taking your medicine.

“If you haven’t done so already, establish a relationship with your healthcare provider, which will ultimately control what your treatment looks like,” says certified Brandon Kennedy. mental health therapist.

Kennedy became interested in volunteering with a local HIV / AIDS organization in March 2010.In June of that year, he himself HIV-positive. By the beginning of 2011, he was already advocating.

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But he didn’t stop there.

“I no longer have a client Qualified mental health counselor“I wanted to be a client-accepting person,” he says.

Currently, he focuses on helping people overcome the setbacks that come from every aspect of their lives.

Kennedy says that keeping in close contact with your doctor can help you:

  • Stay on regular tests to ensure that your treatment works as well as possible.
  • Reduces the likelihood of drug resistance. At that time, the HIV virus mutates and the drug becomes ineffective.
  • HIV is less likely to spread to people who have sex because they are more likely to stay in the treatment plan.

To help make your treatment an easy part of your daily routine, you can:

  • Use daily pill boxes to organize your medicine.
  • Take the medicine at the same time every day.
  • Remind your loved ones, set alarms on your smartphone, and take notes.
  • If you are traveling or cannot replenish your prescription, plan ahead and take more medication.
  • Keep track of your doctor’s appointments and make sure you schedule them on a regular basis.

Don’t be afraid to change things

Mental and physical care is important for maintaining an appropriate treatment plan. According to Kennedy, the best way to avoid setbacks is to look at self-care as a whole and understand what works and what doesn’t.

Then take action.

“If you don’t understand it, ask for help,” he says. “There are experts who can help you handle, navigate, understand what works and what doesn’t, and come up with different interventions that suit you.”

Maggie White (NP), an infectious disease specialist in Houston, says there are many reasons why people don’t take medicine consistently.

  • Unwanted side effects
  • Simple oblivion
  • Fear of judgment

“Sometimes I don’t take medicine because I have stigma,” says White.

If you miss a dose due to a simple slip-up, White says it won’t ruin your entire schedule.

“If you miss a dose, it’s not the end of the world …. that’s when people are constantly skipping doses,” she says. If you start or stop dosing all the time, the HIV virus can worsen over time and develop into drug resistance. However, HIV drugs are much more difficult to become resistant today than drugs of the past.

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If you skip the dose and don’t know what to do, contact your doctor. In most cases, it’s okay to take the medicine you forgot as soon as you remember it, unless it’s almost time for your next dose. In this case, take the next dose at the normal dose and do not take the missed dose.

If for some reason you consistently miss a dose, consult your doctor to check your viral load. The amount of HIV virus is in you. blood.. They do a blood test to see if your medicine is working well.

If the viral load is undetectable, treatment is controlling HIV. Your immune system is better protected and you will not be able to spread the virus to others.

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However, if the viral load can be detected, it is important to discuss the medication with your doctor. They will help you understand a better treatment schedule. This may include adjusting the drug for better control.

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You may be resistant to HIV drugs. Your doctor can do a drug resistance test to find out which drugs work or don’t work for your body.

Another possibility is that your HIV drug is interfering with the other drugs you are taking.

Most people who are infected with HIV have no symptoms when the viral load increases or when they become resistant to the drug. The best way to find out is through a blood test. Most people infected with HIV today do not develop AIDS. However, long-term treatment can damage the immune system. This increases your chances of getting a particular infection, cancer, or AIDS.

Contact your doctor immediately in the following cases:

If for any reason you are worried about HIV treatment or symptoms, it is advisable to consult your doctor immediately. Asking them can help you understand what is happening in your body.

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“I always tell patients:’I want you to know what’s good, what’s bad, and what’s ugly,'” says White. “I want to be a resource, but what’s happening. I want you to understand as much as you like. “

When the care team discovers why the viral load has changed, they can advise you on how to continue the same treatment or start using a new drug.

Lean on your circle

Throughout your HIV journey, you may not know how to navigate the next steps. When that happens, take a breath-and find your support system.

“There is a decline and flow in life,” says Kalee Garland, an HIV patient and activist. “We can be our own worst enemies. It’s important to be strong mental health, Open counseling, And for you to have good friends you can trust. “

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34-year-old Garland was born with HIV and has overcome change throughout his HIV journey. She says the best way to deal with setbacks is through social understanding.

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“HIV is an acronym and the first word is human …. what if it affects your best friend? What if it affects someone?” love?? “

The hard part of HIV frustration is disclosing information to other people, especially your partner and those you may have a sexual relationship with.

Garland encourages you and others to feel empowered when discussing them.

“You never know what you’re trying to get. That’s the most vulnerable thing,” says Garland. ” breathe Through it. You are emotionally open and honest with them, which is the best way to treat humans. “

You may get ignorant reactions from time to time, but she says, it’s important not to separate yourself from deeper relationships. Garland emphasizes that there are many “emotional intellectual” people who accept and support you.

If the viral load becomes undetectable and you have a relationship with an HIV-negative person, it can be difficult to deal with. However, there are many solutions to help you and your partner feel in control.

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As a therapist, Kennedy has many couples Preventive care It can be used when one of the viral loads increases.

“We can talk condom“He says. “But you can also talk about the various creams that have been approved. We can talk PrEP.. “

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a drug that can be taken to prevent people who are not infected with the virus from becoming infected with HIV. Talk to your medical team about it.

Regardless of the situation, Kennedy believes that acceptance is the best way to overcome setbacks.

“Let me accept the fact that this particular thing is happening,” he says. “Only then can we go back and evaluate. What’s the next step I have to take to keep moving forward?”

HIV: Management of Frustration

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