Antiretroviral therapy adherence strategies used by patients of a large HIV clinic in Lesotho

Johanna Maria Axelsson, Sofie Hallager, Toke S. Barfod

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Abstrakt

A high degree of adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is necessary for long term treatment effects. This study explores the role of timing of ART intake, the information patients received from health workers, local adherence patterns, barriers to and facilitators of ART among 28 HIV-positive adults at the Senkatana HIV Clinic in Maseru, Lesotho. This qualitative, semi-structured interview study was carried out during February and March of 2011 and responses were analyzed inspired by the Grounded Theory method. Results were then compared and discussed between the authors and the main themes that emerged were categorized. The majority of the respondents reported having missed one or more doses of medicine in the past and it was a widespread belief among patients that they were required to skip the dose of ART if they were "late". The main barriers to adherence were interruptions of daily routines or leaving the house without sufficient medicine. The use of mobile phone alarms, phone clocks and support from family and friends were major facilitators of adherence. None of the patients reported to have been counseled on family support or the use of mobile phones as helpful methods in maintaining or improving adherence to ART. Being on-time with ART was emphasized during counseling by health workers. In conclusion, patients should be advised to take the dose as soon as they remember instead of skipping the dose completely when they are late. Mobile phones and family support could be subjects to focus on during future counseling particularly with the growing numbers of mobile phones in Africa and the current focus on telemedicine.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer10
TidsskriftJournal of Health, Population and Nutrition
Vol/bind33
Udgave nummer1
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 6 aug. 2015

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