Missing His HIV Medication Worries JaQuan
I didn't take my medication in front of them because I didn't want to freak people out."
Through personalized letters, people living with HIV discuss how their HIV medication has impacted their lives.
JaQuan shares his unspoken reality in HIV.
JaQuan was diagnosed with HIV and started treatment in November 2009. He is a student and is currently working at a restaurant near his home. He likes to travel and go to the theater. JaQuan participates in HIV outreach and helps guide people who are struggling with substance abuse.
Here I was, 18 years old, HIV-positive, newly single, and in my first semester of college—all alone and not able to trust anybody.
I felt so lost because I just found out that I contracted HIV from my very first boyfriend. I felt like the whole world was against me. Many of my friends didn’t know about my status. I didn’t take my medication in front of them because I didn’t want to freak people out.
But my main concern has always been maintaining my undetectable status. If I miss a dose, I get upset because it may be due to circumstances that are out of my control.
It’s not so easy discussing this with you, but I’d like to talk about more than just my labs. I want to have a conversation about my HIV medication, my life, and how they influence each other.
I’m someone living with HIV, but at the end of the day, my HIV doesn’t define me.
Unspoken realities in HIV are not just limited to JaQuan
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.
HVUWCNT190037 October 2019