Duggan, Joan M; Locher, Ann; Fink, Brian; Okonta, Chrystal; Chakraborty, Joana
The use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has decreased morbidity and mortality for people living with HIV/AIDS, but adherence to HAART is a critical factor in successful treatment. Adherence to medication is a complex and poorly understood behavior. A survey was undertaken to evaluate subjective correlates of adherence and non-adherence based on previously distilled themes from a qualitative study of adherence. A 60-question survey was completed by patients in the outpatient clinic setting regarding demographics, CD4 cell count, viral load, adherence, and screening questions about medication usage and attitudes toward HIV. Ninety-eight adherent and 34 non-adherent patients completed the survey. After logistic regression analysis, several questions appeared to be the main predictors of non-adherence: Have you ever thought of having HIV as a "punishment?" Do you feel that your medicines are hard to take? Do you believe the medicines for HIV that you take are working for you? These questions may be helpful in the development of a clinically useful screening tool to assess patients at risk for non-adherence.