I didn’t always take my HIV medication consistently. It was hard to keep up with, especially with having a two year-old running around all the time. I’m always exhausted and thinking about a million things other than remembering to take my pill. It was just easier to not think about it, you know?

One day, I noticed my body getting tired more quickly and sometimes got dizzy when I stopped taking the medicine for a while. I also had a cold that I could NOT get rid of! I decided to talk to my doctor to figure out how I could get my body feeling normal again. When I went to my appointment my doctor didn’t just ask me about how my body felt, but what else was going on. I told her that I just had a lot going on with work and my two year-old and sometimes I forgot to take my pill. We came up with a plan to help me remember - when I give my baby breakfast in the morning I have an alarm set on my phone to take my pill at the same time. So far, so good, and it’s been 2 months! The dizziness stopped and I have much more energy to keep up with my baby!

Gabrielle’s story is one of our HIV Testing & Prevention program’s "Role Model Stories” in which real people describe how they made a change to reduce their risk and improve their health as it relates to HIV and AIDS. Names have been changed and the images are staged with actors.