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Who takes the medicine? Adherence to antiretroviral therapy in Southern Ethiopia

Authors Teshome W, Belayneh M, Moges M, Endriyas M, Mekonnen E, Ayele S, Misganaw T, Shiferaw M, Chinnakali P, Hinderaker SG, Kumar AM

Received 19 June 2015

Accepted for publication 9 September 2015

Published 29 October 2015 Volume 2015:9 Pages 1531—1537


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Wondu Teshome,1 Mihretu Belayneh,1 Mathewos Moges,1 Misganu Endriyas,2 Emebet Mekonnen,2 Sinafiksh Ayele,2 Tebeje Misganaw,2 Mekonnen Shiferaw,2 Palanivel Chinnakali,3 Sven Gudmund Hinderaker,4 Ajay MV Kumar5

1School of Public and Environmental Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Hawassa University, Hawassa, Ethiopia; 2Research Technology Transfer Process Unit, SNNP Regional Health Bureau, Hawassa, Ethiopia; 3Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Post-graduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India; 4Centre for International Health, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway; 5The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, South-East Asia Regional Office, New Delhi, India

Background: Treatment adherence is critical for the success of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for people living with HIV. There is limited representative information on ART drug adherence and its associated factors from Southern Ethiopia. We aimed at estimating the level of adherence to ART among people living with HIV and factors associated with it in 20 randomly selected ART clinics of Southern Ethiopia.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we interviewed consecutive HIV patients on first-line antiretroviral regimen attending the clinics in June 2014 using a pretested and structured questionnaire. For measuring adherence, we used 4-day recall method based on “The AIDS Clinical Trial Group adherence assessment tool”. Patients were classified as “Incomplete adherence” if they missed any of the doses in the last 4 days. Data were singly entered using EpiData and descriptive analysis, and unadjusted odds ratios were calculated using EpiDataStat software. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed using Stata v12.0.
Results: Of 974 patients interviewed, 539 (56%) were females, and mean age was 35 years. The proportion of patients with incomplete adherence was 13% (95% confidence interval: 11%–15%). In multivariate analysis, factors significantly associated with incomplete adherence included young age, being Protestant Christian, consuming alcohol, being single, and being a member of an HIV association. Psychosocial factors like stigma, depression, and satisfaction to care were not associated with incomplete adherence in the current context.
Conclusion: The overall adherence to ART was good. However, there were certain subgroups with incomplete adherence who need special attention. The health care providers (especially counselors) need to be aware of these subgroups and tailor their counseling to improve adherence among these groups. Exploratory qualitative studies may help uncover the exact reasons for incomplete adherence.

Keywords: operational research, SORT IT, treatment compliance

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