Taking HIV medications correctly is extremely important. As with any medication, it is important to take medications for HIV exactly as the physician prescribes to avoid serious problems. One of the biggest concerns with HIV medications is resistance. Resistance occurs when the virus mutates or changes in a way that prevents some medications from being effective against HIV. Resistance to HIV medication is most often caused by missing doses or taking the medications incorrectly. Often, resistance can be avoided if patients are able to take their medication on a regular schedule.

The SIU has a clinical pharmacist on staff to assist patients with adherence to their medication regimens. The pharmacist works individually with patients to optimize medication adherence while providing information concerning all aspects of a medication regimen. This may include instruction on how to take medications, education on how medications work, as well as possible side effects and interactions. In addition, the pharmacist works closely with the physicians, nurses, and social workers in the SIU to prevent medication-related problems. Most importantly, the pharmacist can assist patients in the management of their medications to decrease the risk of resistance and other medication-related problems.

Kendra Kress, PharmD
Doctor of Pharmacy

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