transmission of HIV as factors to the spread of HIV. Many of the participants in the same study did not even disclosure their HIV status to their sexual partners due to lack of confidentiality, fear of rejection, negatively affecting the mood, and not required if a real relationship was not going to be established (Camacho-Gonzalez et al., 2016). Changing Perceptions and Awareness of HIV Realities HIV education programs are necessary to change perceptions and increase awareness. It seems many times the news only covers up and coming diseases, without giving consideration to the illnesses and disorders we are currently managing. Many adolescents and young adults feel they are not at risk for contracting HIV so targeting this age group for HIV education is important in reducing HIV transmission. Providers need to provide age appropriate, youth friendly information on HIV and safe sex practices that accentuates sex-associated risks and give them tools to tackle insecurities ( Camacho-Gonzalez et al., 2016). Medication Adherence Strategies Successful ART regimens are associated with increased adherence rates, viral suppression, and decreased rates of HIV resistance (Montaner et al., 2014). Nonadherence can
occur due to active substance abuse, active mental illness, lack of HIV and medication education, low levels of literacy, and stigma (Arcangelo et al., 2017). Pill burden, frequency of dosing, food requirements, adverse effects, and treatment fatigue also contribute to poor adherence (Arcangelo et al., 2017). A strong patient-provider relationship reduces nonadherence and encourages active participation of the patient, family, and friends in the treatment plan (Arcangelo et al., 2017). HIV counseling can help patients obtain the ART goal of viral suppression (Arcangelo et al., 2017). Providing education on adverse effects of the ART regime is another strategy the practitioner can use to increase adherence. Teaching patients which events are likely to happen, how to minimize adverse effects, and when therapy needs to be stopped due to adverse events are essential for adherence (Arcangelo et al., 2017). Following the dosing schedule for medications and the food requirements needed for each drug is important teaching information to provide to the patient (Arcangelo et al., 2017; Krummenacher et al., 2011). Above all, providing education on the prevention of HIV transmission such as safe-sex practices through condom use, number of sexual partners, and use of recreational drugs reduces the risk of transmitting HIV to others and decreasing the spread (Sax et al., 2018). References Arcangelo, V. P., Peterson, A. M., Wilbur, V., & Reinhold, J. A. (Eds.). (2017).
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