One of the things that we asked Focus Group participants about was their strategies for taking ARVs privately while at boarding school. They described a wide range of tools and methods for doing so. Here is a comprehensive list:
- Wrap in paper (notebook paper, magazines, newspaper, etc.)
- Hide it in your food during meals.
- Hide it in chewing gum packet. If people ask, say that there is only one left.
- Hide in your pocket until you have to take it.
- Put a blanket around your bed (saying that you don’t like the sun) and then you can secretly take it whenever you need to.
- Let it dissolve in juice or water. Carry around the same bottle and refill it as necessary.
- Disguise in Eflagen box (a common medication for headaches.
- Put on the edge of a cup on the handle and then take it while you are drinking.
While these solutions are applicable to the long-term reduction of stigma from HIV, they are short-term solutions to increasing ARV adherence and therefore, health outcomes while participants are still in boarding school.