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Health Psychol. 2000 Mar;19(2):124-33.

Patterns, correlates, and barriers to medication adherence among persons prescribed new treatments for HIV disease.

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Center for AIDS Intervention Research, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee 53202, USA.


New treatments for HIV can improve immune functioning and decrease mortality. However, lapses in adherence may render these complex regimens ineffective. Sixty-three men and 9 women on highly active antiretroviral therapy completed measures of medication adherence, psychological characteristics, and barriers to adherence. HIV viral load, a health outcome measure of virus amount present in blood, was also obtained. The sample was 36% African American and 56% Caucasian, with 35% reporting disability. Nearly one third of patients had missed medication doses in the past 5 days, and 18% had missed doses weekly over the past 3 months. Frequency of missed doses was strongly related to detectable HIV viral loads. Depression, side-effect severity, self-efficacy, and social support distinguished patients with good and poor adherence. Barriers also varied with adherence level. Implications for interventions promoting HIV treatment adherence are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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