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      Knowledge and adherence to antiretroviral therapy among adult people living with HIV/AIDS treated in the health care centers of the association "Espoir Vie Togo" in Togo, West Africa

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          The efficiency of antiretroviral therapy (ART) depends on a near perfect level of patients' adherence. The level of adherence of adults HIV-infected patients treated in the HIV/AIDS health care centres of the association "Espoir Vie Togo" in Togo, West Africa is not properly documented. The aim of the present study was to examine by means of self-reports the knowledge, the adherence level and associated factors to antiretroviral therapy (ART) among these patients.


          We conducted a cross-sectional survey among adult people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) through a structured questionnaire.


          A total of 99 patients were enrolled. Among them, 55.6% knew the name of antiretroviral agents of regimens prescribed. All patients had a good knowledge of treatment schedule. The treatment regimens based on 2 NRTIs + 1 NNRTI were used in 90% of patients. The average adherence rate was 89.8% of the total doses prescribed while 62.62% of patients showed an adherence rate of 95% or above. The treated groups were similar in term of median % of medication doses taken according to PLWHA epidemiological characteristics. However, patients reported forgetting (34.9%), travel (25.6%), cost of treatment (13.9%) and side effects (11.6%) as the main factors of missing at least once a dose intake.


          These results should encourage the association and all the involved actors in the HIV/AIDS's program to strengthen counseling, education and information interventions for HIV-infected patients in order to overcome the potential barriers of poor adherence.

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          Most cited references 23

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          Adherence to protease inhibitor therapy and outcomes in patients with HIV infection.

          Combination antiretroviral therapy with protease inhibitors has transformed HIV infection from a terminal condition into one that is manageable. However, the complexity of regimens makes adherence to therapy difficult. To assess the effects of different levels of adherence to therapy on virologic, immunologic, and clinical outcome; to determine modifiable conditions associated with suboptimal adherence; and to determine how well clinicians predict patient adherence. Prospective, observational study. HIV clinics in a Veterans Affairs medical center and a university medical center. 99 HIV-infected patients who were prescribed a protease inhibitor and who neither used a medication organizer nor received their medications in an observed setting (such as a jail or nursing home). Adherence was measured by using a microelectronic monitoring system. The adherence rate was calculated as the number of doses taken divided by the number prescribed. Patients were followed for a median of 6 months (range, 3 to 15 months). During the study period, 45,397 doses of protease inhibitor were monitored in 81 evaluable patients. Adherence was significantly associated with successful virologic outcome (P < 0.001) and increase in CD4 lymphocyte count (P = 0.006). Virologic failure was documented in 22% of patients with adherence of 95% or greater, 61% of those with 80% to 94.9% adherence, and 80% of those with less than 80% adherence. Patients with adherence of 95% or greater had fewer days in the hospital (2.6 days per 1000 days of follow-up) than those with less than 95% adherence (12.9 days per 1000 days of follow-up; P = 0.001). No opportunistic infections or deaths occurred in patients with 95% or greater adherence. Active psychiatric illness was an independent risk factor for adherence less than 95% (P = 0.04). Physicians predicted adherence incorrectly for 41% of patients, and clinic nurses predicted it incorrectly for 30% of patients. Adherence to protease inhibitor therapy of 95% or greater optimized virologic outcome for patients with HIV infection. Diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric illness should be further investigated as a means to improve adherence to therapy.
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            Non-adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy predicts progression to AIDS.

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              Less than 95% adherence to nonnucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitor therapy can lead to viral suppression.

              For antiretroviral therapy, the 95% adherence "threshold" is based on nucloside-exposed patients who are receiving partially suppressive, unboosted protease inhibitor regimens. Using unannounced pill counts and electronic medication monitoring, viral suppression is common with a 54%-100% mean adherence level to nonnucleoside reverse-transcriptase-inhibitor regimens. Although perfect adherence is an important goal, viral suppression is possible with moderate adherence to potent regimens.

                Author and article information

                [1 ]Université de Lomé, Faculté Mixte de Médecine et de Pharmacie, BP 1515, Lomé - Togo
                [2 ]Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Kara, Service de Pharmacie BP 18 - Kara - Togo
                [3 ]Université de Ouagadougou - UFR/SDS 03 BP 7021 Ouagadougou 03 - Burkina Faso
                [4 ]Espoir Vie Togo, Région Centrale (EVT/RC) - Togo
                BMC Clin Pharmacol
                BMC Clinical Pharmacology
                BioMed Central
                17 September 2010
                : 10
                : 11
                Copyright ©2010 Potchoo et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                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.

                Research Article

                Pharmacology & Pharmaceutical medicine


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