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Clin Infect Dis. 2001 Sep 1;33(5):700-5. Epub 2001 Jul 30.

Adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy predicts virologic outcome at an inner-city human immunodeficiency virus clinic.

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College of Pharmacy, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA.


This study's hypothesis is that human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients in the inner city (predominantly injection drug users and ethnic minorities) do not take highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) as prescribed and that nonadherence leads to virologic failure. A prospective, observational, 3-month study of adherence to HAART was undertaken at an inner-city clinic. There were 40 subjects [110 subject-months]; 30 were male, 10 were female, 75% were Hispanic, 23% were African American, 68% were injection drug users, and 68% were receiving triple therapy. At 3 months, adherence, which was determined by use of the Medication Event Monitoring System (Aprex) was significantly associated with virologic success: lower virus loads were associated with a rate of adherence of >80% (P<.05). Although nonadherence predicted virologic failure, virologic success was not always predicted by adherence: 11 (27.5%) of 40 subjects with suboptimal adherence rates (<90%) had complete virologic suppression.

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