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AIDS Behav. 2009 Feb;13(1):42-5. doi: 10.1007/s10461-008-9412-2. Epub 2008 Jun 3.

Adherence to anti retroviral therapy (ART) during Muslim Ramadan fasting.

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Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria, Pent House, Maina Court, Plot 252 Herbert Macaulay Way, Central Business District, PO Box 9396, Garki, Abuja, Nigeria.


Annual fasting during the month of Ramadan is observed in Muslim countries, some of which have widespread HIV infection. We studied treatment adherence and customary practices among 142 fasting 'FT' and 101 non-fasting 'NFT' patients on anti-retroviral therapy (ART) in Nigeria. Adherence on ART among FT and NFT patients was similar during Ramadan, 96% and 98%, and ever since commencement of ART, 80% and 88%, respectively. FT patients altered their typical daily behaviors by advancing morning and delaying evening doses thereby prolonging dosing intervals, eating heavier meals pre-dawn and on breakfast at sunset (78%), and changing or reducing their sleeping and waking times (40%). This preliminary study suggests that adherence and drug taking frequency appear uncompromised in FT HIV infected patients on ARVs.

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