Assessment of Adherence to Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy and Associated Factors among People Living with HIV at Debrebrihan Referral Hospital and Health Center, Northeast Ethiopia: A Cross-Sectional Study

Journal Article
  • Abush Kebede Ketema
  • Zewdu Shewangizaw Weret
HIV AIDS (Auckland)
March 2015; 7: 75-81. DOI: 10.2147/HIV.S79328


Nonadherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) is a major challenge to AIDS care, and the risks associated with it are extensive. The intention of this study was to determine prevalence and associated factors with adherence to highly active ART among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) at the Debrebrihan Referral Hospital and Health Center, Northeast Ethiopia. A cross-sectional study design with systematic random sampling was conducted using a structured adherence questionnaire among 422 respondents from the hospital; their median age was 35 years.  Adherence, measured by self-reports by the patients, was defined as not missing a single ART dose during the 30-day period prior to filling out the self-report. These results were then used in binary logistic regression analysis. Among the participants, 95.5% were taking their medication without missing a dose. Factors such as having emotional or practical support positively encouraged ART adherence. However, users of traditional, complementary, and alternative medicine (TCAM)  had nearly a five times higher risk for ART nonadherence (p = 0.05) than those not using TCAM. Adherence to ART among PLWA is imperative. But there is still a need to boost psychological support and practical support for the clients, and there is also a need to create a more integrative approach with TCAM in order to increase adherence to ART. Strengthening emotional and practical support for PLWHA and integrating TCAM with the proper use of ART are vital to enhance ART adherence.