HIV Medication Conflicts With Keiva's Self-Image
I understand the importance of my medication, but taking it every day feels like a weakness."
Through personalized letters, people living with HIV discuss how their HIV medication has impacted their lives.
Keiva shares her unspoken reality in HIV.
Keiva was diagnosed with HIV in August 2004 and started treatment in January 2006. She facilitates support groups and educational retreats, loves to hula, and enjoys going to the beach. Keiva is deeply connected to her Hawaiian roots, which provide her with much inner strength.
I understand the importance of my medication, but taking it every day feels like a weakness. It’s in direct conflict with how I see myself.
I’m a strong woman. I raised children. I got sober. I got off the streets. I found myself a career. I’m a pillar in my community and my parents are proud of me. As a trans woman, my image relates to my success, and sometimes it feels like living with HIV is not conducive to living a successful life.
When I first started taking medication, I worried about disclosing my status to others because I didn’t want it to affect their perception of me. Now, my medication can sometimes feel like an added burden in my life.
If I miss doses, I worry it may affect my undetectable status. I need to take care of myself and my health for the sake of my partner and my family.
My HIV affects multiple aspects of my life. So, it’s important for me to talk to you about how my HIV medication fits into my life.
And I don’t want my HIV to hold me back from achieving the same things that everyone wants in life: to be happy, healthy, and loved.
Unspoken realities in HIV are not just limited to Keiva
of people living with HIV agreed that taking medication every day constantly reminds them of their disease.1*
of people living with HIV admitted to hiding their HIV medication to avoid accidental disclosure.1*
of people living with HIV felt stressed and under pressure to take their daily medication at the right time.1*
Similar challenges are faced by people living with HIV every day. Yet, those feelings may not always be shared.
*The Positive Perspectives survey is an international survey conducted with 1085 patients by ViiV Healthcare in 2017.
1. Data on file. ViiV Healthcare group of companies. Research Triangle Park, NC.
HVUWCNT190039 October 2019