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Author Topic: Request for tips on counseling people on AIDS meds  (Read 3354 times)

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Offline agape720

  • New Member
  • Posts: 2
Request for tips on counseling people on AIDS meds
« on: December 01, 2008, 03:23:51 PM »
Hi everyone,
My name is Lisa, and I am a pharmacy student.  In January I will be on rotation at an HIV/AIDS pharmacy.  I will be counseling patients on their ARVs, checking on adherence to the drug therapy, etc, and I would like tips from all of you about how to counsel patients in the most effective way.  Of course I know I should be nonjudgemental and empathetic, but I would like specific tips.  IE: are there things that other health professionals do when counseling you that you like and don't like?  Please let me know- I want to provide the best possible care to my patients!

Offline hivsweden

  • Member
  • Posts: 81
Re: Request for tips on counseling people on AIDS meds
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2008, 06:32:24 PM »
The one thing that has bothered me most is that many healthcare persons try to ignore the side effects of the meds. My best advice is to be honest.

Offline weasel

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,873
Re: Request for tips on counseling people on AIDS meds
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2008, 06:03:16 PM »
as HIV Sweden said be honest !

 The most important  thing is to listen and respond , act interested .

 often I find the  people i deal with so busy , they barely even notice what we are

talking about , they chat on the phone , talk with other doctors or pharmacy personnel ,

 and then  excuse themselves ,and what did i learn ? nothing .......

I am sure you will do fine , you came here to ask . i find that a good sign .

           and do not down play side effects , they do happen and it's good to hear
          that soemone else felt the same way , and maybe it went away .

                                                                          Karl :-*
" Live and let Live "

Offline webontheweb

  • Member
  • Posts: 110
Re: Request for tips on counseling people on AIDS meds
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2009, 06:34:55 PM »
I tell everyone to get the pill box and USE IT.  I am on Atripla and Dapsone, so use the case as a 14 day dispenser.  I have it in the bathroom right in plain site and it is the last thing I do before I brush my teeth.  I always tell people to set up pill taking as part of a ritual.  Make it something that you will thin of doing every day and soon in becomes automatic.  I agree with the other folks, that you should not sugar coat any side effects or symptons, howeer, along with that goes the responsibility of being there for people when they need to talk to you.  I am in the middle of trying to put together a support group for peeps who are HIV and have nowhere to hang out and rap.
Shoudl be interesting.  Good luck and feel free to use me as a sounding board at anytime.  Thank you for your good work.

Offline aztecan

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,517
  • 32 years positive, 60 years a pain in the butt
Re: Request for tips on counseling people on AIDS meds
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2009, 10:49:17 AM »
All of the above are good responses. I would only add one thing.

Without trying to sound like Attila the Hun, adherence needs to be stressed above all.

This is especially true of young people, whom I find tend to be more laid back about taking meds because they don't feel ill and sometimes the meds make them feel badly.

Just try to reinforce the need to take the meds as prescribed and not to skip doses.

Just my 2˘ worth.



"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline lonewolf

  • Member
  • Posts: 96
Re: Request for tips on counseling people on AIDS meds
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2009, 10:58:25 AM »
Thank you Lisa, your thread is encouraging and refreshing.  I appreciate your genuine concern, and wish you the very best  in Pharmacy.   Would like to add, that most of us that are Positive are not proud  of this virus we have.  When talking to someone that is HIV +, even your body language means so very much,  I am so comforted by my HIV Dr, his nurse because they emphatically have never shown any disgust, or treated me differently than anyone else that has any other type of health problems.   I live in a small town and travel quite a distance for my HIV care and meds, because of the stigma here in a small town, rural area of HIV.
Again,  you sound like you will be a compassionate, and sincere Pharmacist, the very best to you!!

Hugs, Bruce
"To all within the sound of my voice, I appeal: Learn with me the lessons of history and of grace, so my children will not be afraid to say the word “AIDS” when I am gone. Then, their children and yours may not need to whisper it at all."  Mary Fisher

Offline bufguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 189
Re: Request for tips on counseling people on AIDS meds
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2009, 06:51:41 PM »
Great comments lonewolf.
The most important thing my ID docs and staff convey to me is that they are part of my team, ready to help with anything.
I have no trepidation seeing them and have all the confidence that working with them I'll stay healthy.

As said before.....stress adherence!
5/29/08 confirmed HIV+
6/23/08 Vl 47500  CD4 511/29% CD8 .60
start atripla
8/1/08 Vl 130  CD4 667/31% CD8 .70
9/18/08 Vl un  CD4 not tested
12/19/08 Vl un CD4 723/32% CD8 .80
4/3/09 Vl un CD4 615/36% CD8  .98
8/7/09 vl un CD4 689/35% CD8 .9
12/11/09 vl un CD4 712/38% CD8 .89
4/9/10 vl un CD4 796/39% CD8 1.0
8/20/10 vl un CD4 787/38% CD8 1.0
4/6/10 vl un CD4 865/35% CD8 .9
8/16/10 vl un CD4 924/37% CD8 1.0
12/23/10 vl un CD4 1006/35% CD8 .9
5/2/10 vl un CD4 1040/39% CD8 .9
8/7/13 vl un CD4 840/39% CD8 .9

Offline Nashvegas

  • Member
  • Posts: 196
Re: Request for tips on counseling people on AIDS meds
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2009, 03:27:38 PM »
I think getting in the habit of using a weekly pill box is a great idea, and it's helped me a lot.  It not only helps me make sure I take my pills as prescribed, it also prevents me from taking a double dose by mistake.  Taking my meds has become so automatic that I often do it without thinking.  Sometimes, an hour or two after taking my pills, I have a momentary sense that I HAVEN'T taken them.  Being able to look in my pill box and see an empty compartment has prevented me from taking a second set of pills when I wasn't sure.

Also, I'm on a twice a day regimen, and I've found it very helpful to have an extra pill or two several different places, just in case I forget to take my pills at home or if I'm delayed for any reason.  I keep extra pills in my gym bag, my glove compartment, and my briefcase.  On more than one occasion, having those "emergency" pills handy has prevented me from having to go back home to get my pills.  (Though I make sure to "trade out" those the "emergency" stash every so often so that the pills don't get too old).
8/12/06 - sero-conversion
9/14/06 -- Positive Test results confirmed
9/21/06 -- CD4 - 586; viral load 8,000; 29%
12/25/06 -- CD4 - 373; VL 2,800; 23%
2/10/07 - CD4 - 228; VL 865; 25%
3/15/07 -  CD4 - 365 (no viral load test)
5/1/07 = CD4 - 341; VL 4,358; 27%
8/1/07 - CD4 - 315; VL - 2,300; 25%
9/20/07 - CD4 - 378
11/22/07 - CD4 - 257; VL 7,300;
2/27/08 - CD4 231 (16.5 %), VL 5,960
5/20/08 - CD4 229 (18.3%), VL 11,100
6/17/08 - CD4 166 (14.5%), VL 9,030
7/2/08 - CD4 272 (20%), VL 113  :-)
7/16/08 - CD4 -217 (21.1 %), VL - Undetectable
7/30/08 - CD4 - 220 (20.4%). VL - 92
8/14/08 - CD4 - 280 (22%) VL-undetectable
1/04/09 - CD4 - 250 (28%) VL-UD
5/15/09 - CD4 -393 (28%) VL-UD
8/15/09 - CD4-346, (26%) VL-UD
11/15/09 - CD4-373 (28%)


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