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AIDS Care. 2003 Oct;15(5):673-9.

HIV-related knowledge and adherence to HAART.

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Office of Special Populations, New York Academy of Medicine, NY 10029, USA.


Near perfect adherence is considered essential for patients on HAART, yet adherence to medical recommendations is rarely so high. Supportive services and reminder tools may help individuals to become adherent, yet it is difficult to determine who may need such interventions. In this study, based on data from the NYSDOH/AIDS Institute Treatment Adherence Demonstration Program, we look at the association between HIV-related knowledge and adherence, hypothesizing that a better understanding of HIV and its treatment is associated with better adherence. In analyses based on 997 participants, knowledge, as measured by five true/false questions, was significantly associated with self-reported adherence. In multivariate analysis, compared to persons with four or five items answered correctly, persons with fewer correct answers were more likely to report missed doses (OR = 1.72 for 2-3 correct, p < 0.01; OR = 2.92 for 0-1 correct, p < 0.05). Our data suggest that providers should include questions focused on knowledge of HIV in their assessments of medication readiness and need for adherence support. Similarly, providers should be diligent with respect to patient education, ensuring that each patient has the information needed to support reasoned decision making and adequate adherence.

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