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Results of an Antiretroviral Adherence Intervention: STAR (Staying Healthy: Taking Antiretrovirals Regularly).

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  • 1Health Risk Reduction Projects, Integrated Substance Abuse Programs, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, Los Angeles, dmurphy@mednet.ucla.edu.


A randomized 2-group medication adherence intervention is evaluated with HIV-infected adults (N = 141) assessed at baseline, 3-, and 9-month follow-ups. Cognitive (self-efficacy, behavioral intent), mental health (depression, well-being), and substance use indicators were the outcome measures. In addition, a posttest-only analysis from 3 to 9 months evaluates intervention impact on antiretroviral adherence, measured through Medication Event Monitoring System and pill counts. Compared to the standard care group, the intervention group showed significant increases in adherence self-efficacy and behavioral intent at 3 and 9 months and marginal improvements in mental health. Although the standard care group had higher adherence at 3 months (no baseline data were available prior to intervention), intervention group patients showed significant increases in adherence from 3 to 9 months. Although adherence levels achieved by intervention patients may not be sufficient for virological control, this is one of the first studies to provide promising results of longer term effectiveness of a behavioral adherence intervention.

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