Not too long ago, I heard someone say, “I think I’ll just stop taking my medication. I’m sick of taking pills!”

What would happen if you really did stop taking your HIV medication? I mean, “cold-turkey”, just stopped. One day a bunch of pills, the next, not a one!

At first you would feel a little relieved. After all, when you have to take Combivir, or some other “reverse transcriptase inhibitor” along with 6 other pills, just not taking them for a while could be very freeing. I have to take two pills a day, one in the morning for my high blood pressure and one at night before I go to bed that keeps my cholesterol low. But half the time, I can’t remember if I took the right pill at the right time. So having to take 6 or 8 or 10 pills a day, some in the morning, some in the afternoon, some at night, some with food, some without, all of that could get “old” real fast.

So what if you stopped?!! You’d start getting real sick, real fast. Those pills just do too much to fight the virus in your body. Twenty years ago, when I first got involved with HIV work, back in the “AZT” only days, if someone who was infected came to one of our support group meetings and lived more than a year or maybe two at the most, man, that was a considered a “miracle”. I sure did a lot of funerals for men and women with HIV/AIDS back then. So those pesky, little pills help. I know they are a pain. I know they have side affects that those side affects are a pain. But they really do help your immune system fight-off that mean little virus trying to destroy your body.

So, please don’t stop taking your pills. And be thankful for them. Your one of the blessed “few”. There are millions of men, women, and children in the world with HIV who will never see “any” little pills whatsoever before they die, in a year, or maybe two at the most. I know you can sick of “taking pills” but you’ll get much worse if you don’t.