Think about how
going away for a break or on holiday could impact on your adherence. This could
include the effect of travel on the times you take your medication,
particularly if your travel involves a changed time zone. You should try and
ensure that you take your medication at the same intervals as you normally do. You
can adjust the times you take your anti-HIV drugs with advice from your clinic
Make sure that
you take enough medication with you when you travel, as securing more supplies
might be difficult or even impossible. It’s a good idea to take a few extra
doses in case you are delayed. You should also travel with your medication in
your hand luggage as this is less likely to get lost and means that your
medication is close at hand should you need to take any during your journey.
If you are
flying or travelling across borders, consider getting a letter from your doctor
giving the name and doses of the medications you are taking and explaining that
you need to have the medication with you at all times. This will help ensure
that you are allowed to carry the medication in your hand luggage (in case the
airline is imposing any restrictions on what can be carried) and it may help
you with customs officials should you be stopped. This letter doesn’t have to
mention HIV; it can just talk about medication for a chronic condition.
travelling, it is advisable to take a copy of your prescription with you and to
keep your medicines in their original container with the pharmacy label
attached. If you try to disguise your medicines they may be more likely to be
impose entry restrictions on people with HIV and you may be considering
stopping your treatment for the time you’re away. This is almost never recommended;
talk to your doctor if you are thinking about doing this.
routine may also have an impact on adherence as you may be away from prompts
that helped you remember to take your medication. Think about what issues you
might have with this and how to overcome them.
medication away from home may mean that there is an increased chance that you
will have to take it with people who do not know about your health, or who you
do not want to know about it. Plan in advance how you might manage this. Simple
things such as having a bottle of water by your bed might give you the privacy
you need to take your medication.
If you are
going out for the night and think that there is a chance that you may not go
home before your next medication dose or doses, take enough medication with you
to cover that period. Be aware that door staff may not be able to recognise
prescription medication and some people have been asked what their anti-HIV
drugs are or have had them taken away when trying to get into some clubs.
If you are
going out and are planning to drink alcohol or take drugs which might affect
your memory, try to plan in advance how you might overcome this. This could involve
setting an alarm on your watch or telling a friend to remind you when it is
time to take your medication. If you are concerned about possible interactions
between your HIV medication and recreational drugs, speak to your doctor or
another member of your healthcare team. They should be able to offer advice on
safely minimising interactions. Do not skip doses.
If you are
having ongoing difficulties taking your medication, or are worried, ask for
help immediately. Staff at your HIV clinic are there to help, and there are
other sources of support (see Where to go
for information, advice and support).