Treatment Adherence Counseling
HIV medications are very effective at keeping patients healthy, but medications need to be taken at least 95 percent of the time in order to lower the viral load and increase CD4 (T-cell) counts - and missing as few as two doses a month could put a patient below this limit. Taking medications as prescribed might be easier if the medications were "easy" on the body. But because of combination therapies, side effects, interactions between HIV and non-HIV medications, busy schedules and psychosocial barriers, many patients have trouble keeping up with the demands of therapy.
Through a client-centered approach, the treatment adherence team at Trillium Health can help patients manage their treatment by providing education, encouragement and hands-on support. Three Treatment Adherence Counselors (TAC) are on-site full time. Spanish-speaking counselors are also available.
Treatment Adherence Counselors can help patients:
- Learn more about treatment, including side effects, viral load, CD4, lab results, interactions between HIV and non-HIV medications, etc.
- Manage new treatments
- Customize medication plans to fit each patient's lifestyle
- With special dosing if needed (for example special dosing for patients with kidney problems)
- With feelings related to treatment
- Take their medications, by providing:
- Follow-up visits and reminders via telephone
- Daily medication taken on site
- Home visits if necessary