Factors Related to Incomplete Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy among Adolescents Attending Three HIV Clinics in the Copperbelt, Zambia
Little is known about adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) among adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa, where the majority of the world’s HIV-positive adolescents reside. We assessed individual, household, and HIV self-management characteristics associated with a 48-hour treatment gap in the preceding 3 months, and a pharmacy medication possession ratio (MPR) that assessed the number of ART pills dispensed divided by the number of ART pills required in the past 6 months, among 285 Zambians, ages 15–19 years. Factors significantly associated with a 48-hour treatment gap were being male, not everyone at home being aware of the adolescent’s HIV status, and alcohol use in the past month. Factors associated with an MPR < 90% included attending the clinic alone, alcohol use in the past month, and currently not being in school. Findings support programs to strengthen adolescents’ HIV management skills with attention to alcohol use, family engagement, and the challenges adolescents face transitioning into adulthood, especially when they are no longer in school.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10461-017-1944-x