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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2004 Aug 15;36(5):1100-2.

Multiple validated measures of adherence indicate high levels of adherence to generic HIV antiretroviral therapy in a resource-limited setting.

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Epidemiology and Prevention Interventions Center and San Francisco General Hospital AIDS Program, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.



There are no validated measures of adherence to HIV antiretroviral therapy in resource-poor settings. Such measures are essential to understand the unique barriers to adherence as access to HIV antiretroviral therapy expands.


We assessed correspondence between multiple measures of adherence and viral load suppression in 34 patients purchasing generic Triomune antiretroviral therapy (coformulated stavudine, lamivudine, and nevirapine; CIPLA, Ltd., Mumbai, India) in Kampala, Uganda. Measures included 3-day patient self-report, 30-day visual analog scale, electronic medication monitoring, and unannounced home pill count. HIV-1 load was determined at baseline and 12 weeks.


Mean adherence was 91%-94% by all measures. Seventy-six percent of subjects had a viral load of <400 copies/mL at 12 weeks. All measures were closely correlated with each other (R = 0.77-0.89). Each measure was also significantly associated with 12-week HIV load. There was no significant difference between patient-reported and objective measures of adherence.


This sample of patients purchasing generic HIV antiretroviral therapy has among the highest measured adherence reported to date. Patient-reported measures were closely associated with objective measures. The relative ease of administration of the 30-day visual analog scale suggests that this may be the preferred method to assess adherence in resource-poor settings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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