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      Determinants of poor adherence to antiretroviral treatment using a combined effect of age and education among human immunodeficiency virus infected young adults attending care at Letaba Hospital HIV Clinic, Limpopo Province, South Africa

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          sustained viral suppression using antiretroviral treatment (ART) occurs with adherence to treatment of at least 95%. Non-adherence promotes the development of drug-resistance and treatment failure in individuals infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus. In Limpopo Province, the adherence rate is approximately 61%, but the prevalence and the factors associated with adherence at Letaba hospital HIV clinic are not well established. Therefore, the aim of this study was to identify the factors associated with adherence among HIV-infected young adults, aged 18-35 years, attending the clinic.


          a cross-sectional survey was conducted in Letaba HIV clinic among young adults of 18-35 years old. Logistic regression analysis was performed to determine factors associated with ART adherence. We reported odds ratios with the corresponding 95% confidence intervals and p-values. A p-value < 0.1 was considered as statistically significant. ART adherence was defined as taking more than 95% of the prescribed treatment, 3 days prior to completion of the questionnaire.


          a total of 281 participants were enrolled with 163 (58.0%) females and more than three quarter, 222 (79.0%) between the ages of 18 and 29 years. The overall ART adherence stood at (87.2%) (95% CI: 63.0%-89.0%) representing 245 participants. Non-adherers to treatment, 36 (12.8%): patients reported no reason (3.9%), forgetting (3.2%), feeling good (3.2%), fear and running out of treatment (2.5%) as some of the reasons for not taking treatment within the three days prior to data collection. The following factors: tertiary education (p = 0.07), age (30-35; p-value: 0.07), drug availability (p-value: 0.07), were only marginally significantly associated with ART adherence.


          the study found unsatisfactory ART adherence among our participants. Our study suggests that factors other than sociodemographic and clinical factors might better explain differences in adherence. This highlights the need for a more complex study that would look at the entire system in which these patients are navigating as well as their mental models.

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          Most cited references 27

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          Self-reported adherence to antiretroviral medications among participants in HIV clinical trials: the AACTG adherence instruments. Patient Care Committee & Adherence Working Group of the Outcomes Committee of the Adult AIDS Clinical Trials Group (AACTG).

          This paper describes the AACTG Adherence Instruments, which are comprised of two self-report questionnaires for use in clinical trials conducted by the Adult AIDS Clinical Trials Group (AACTG). The questionnaires were administered to 75 patients at ten AACTG sites in the USA. All patients were taking combination antiretroviral therapy (ART), including at least one protease inhibitor. Eleven per cent of patients reported missing at least one dose the day before the interview, and 17% reported missing at least one dose during the two days prior. The most common reasons for missing medications included 'simply forgot' (66%) and a number of factors often associated with improved health, including being busy (53%), away from home (57%) and changes in routine (51%). Less adherent patients reported lower adherence self-efficacy (p = 0.006) and were less sure of the link between non-adherence and the development of drug resistance (p = 0.009). They were also more likely to consume alcohol, to be employed outside the home for pay and to have enrolled in clinical trials to gain access to drugs (all p < 0.05). Twenty-two per cent of patients taking drugs requiring special instructions were unaware of these instructions. Each questionnaire took approximately ten minutes to complete. Responses to the questionnaires were favourable. These questionnaires have been included in six AACTG clinical trials to date and have been widely disseminated to investigators both in the USA and abroad.
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            Guidelines for improving entry into and retention in care and antiretroviral adherence for persons with HIV: evidence-based recommendations from an International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care panel.

            After HIV diagnosis, timely entry into HIV medical care and retention in that care are essential to the provision of effective antiretroviral therapy (ART). Adherence to ART is among the key determinants of successful HIV treatment outcome and is essential to minimize the emergence of drug resistance. The International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care convened a panel to develop evidence-based recommendations to optimize entry into and retention in care and ART adherence for people with HIV. A systematic literature search was conducted to produce an evidence base restricted to randomized, controlled trials and observational studies with comparators that had at least 1 measured biological or behavioral end point. A total of 325 studies met the criteria. Two reviewers independently extracted and coded data from each study using a standardized data extraction form. Panel members drafted recommendations based on the body of evidence for each method or intervention and then graded the overall quality of the body of evidence and the strength for each recommendation. Recommendations are provided for monitoring entry into and retention in care, interventions to improve entry and retention, and monitoring of and interventions to improve ART adherence. Recommendations cover ART strategies, adherence tools, education and counseling, and health system and service delivery interventions. In addition, they cover specific issues pertaining to pregnant women, incarcerated individuals, homeless and marginally housed individuals, and children and adolescents, as well as substance use and mental health disorders. Recommendations for future research in all areas are also provided.
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              Self-report measures of antiretroviral therapy adherence: A review with recommendations for HIV research and clinical management.

              A review of 77 studies employing self-report measures of antiretroviral adherence published 1/1996 through 8/2004 revealed great variety in adherence assessment item content, format, and response options. Recall periods ranged from 2 to 365 days (mode = 7 days). The most common cutoff for optimal adherence was 100% (21/48 studies, or 44%). In 27 of 34 recall periods (79%), self-reported adherence was associated with adherence as assessed with other indirect measures. Data from 57 of 67 recall periods (84%) indicated self-reported adherence was significantly associated with HIV-1 RNA viral load; in 16 of 26 (62%), it was associated with CD4 count. Clearly, the field would benefit from item standardization and a priori definitions and operationalizations of adherence. We conclude that even brief self-report measures of antiretroviral adherence can be robust, and recommend items and strategies for HIV research and clinical management.

                Author and article information

                Pan Afr Med J
                Pan Afr Med J
                The Pan African Medical Journal
                The African Field Epidemiology Network
                18 January 2019
                : 32
                [1 ]Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Department of Global Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
                [2 ]Carolina Population Centre, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA
                [3 ]Division of Community Paediatrics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
                Author notes
                [& ]Corresponding author: Peter Nyasulu, Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Department of Global Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa
                © Kuhlula Mabunda et al.

                The Pan African Medical Journal - ISSN 1937-8688. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



                limpopo, south africa, hiv, adherence, antiretroviral treatment


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