HIV treatment is a partnership. Just as you rely on your antiretrovirals (ARVs) to be proven safe and effective, your medications don't work alone—you need to take them correctly if they are to keep you healthy. This is called "treatment adherence."
Generally speaking, adherence means taking the correct dose of your medications every time you're supposed to take them, exactly as prescribed by your health care provider or recommended by your pharmacist (for example, on an empty stomach, before bedtime, etc.).
While adherence may sound easy, sometimes it's not. Studies show that even doctors have enormous difficulty taking even short-term drug regimens strictly according to the rules.
This lesson takes a look at HIV treatment adherence, including why it's so important, some of the issues that can get in the way of good adherence, and ways to overcome these obstacles.