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Health Care Women Int. 2003 Jul;24(6):552-64.

Adherence to antiretroviral medications in HIV/AIDS care: a narrative exploration of one woman's foray into intentional nonadherence.

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  • 1Department of Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095-1551, USA.


Intentional nonadherence occurs when patients deliberately do not take their medications. This phenomenon has not been studied within HIV/AIDS care, a significant omission due to the difficulty of adherence to antiretroviral medications for HIV/AIDS patients and the severe risks associated with nonadherence. The purpose of this study was to explore, using HIV-positive women's own recollections collected in diary format, how and why women living with HIV/AIDS intentionally fail to adhere to their antiretroviral medications. We examined the journal entries of 20 HIV-positive women written during a 1-month period. Although three participants wrote about their intentional nonadherence, the journal entries of only one woman are presented in detail. This woman's story highlights the complex reasons for intentional nonadherence and the social/emotional ramifications of such nonadherence. Results suggest that intentional nonadherence is emotionally trying for patients and that patients' adherence decisions are continually renegotiated, underscoring the need for routine provider-patient adherence communication.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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