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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2010 Jun;54(2):197-203. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181ca48bf.

Longitudinal analysis of patterns and predictors of changes in self-reported adherence to antiretroviral therapy: Swiss HIV Cohort Study.

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  • 1Basel Institute for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland.



Adherence to combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) is a dynamic process, however, changes in adherence behavior over time are insufficiently understood.


Data on self-reported missed doses of cART was collected every 6 months in Swiss HIV Cohort Study participants. We identified behavioral groups associated with specific cART adherence patterns using trajectory analyses. Repeated measures logistic regression identified predictors of changes in adherence between consecutive visits.


Six thousand seven hundred nine individuals completed 49,071 adherence questionnaires [median 8 (interquartile range: 5-10)] during a median follow-up time of 4.5 years (interquartile range: 2.4-5.1). Individuals were clustered into 4 adherence groups: good (51.8%), worsening (17.4%), improving (17.6%), and poor adherence (13.2%). Independent predictors of worsening adherence were younger age, basic education, loss of a roommate, starting intravenous drug use, increasing alcohol intake, depression, longer time with HIV, onset of lipodystrophy, and changing care provider. Independent predictors of improvements in adherence were regimen simplification, changing class of cART, less time on cART, and starting comedications.


Treatment, behavioral changes, and life events influence patterns of drug intake in HIV patients. Clinical care providers should routinely monitor factors related to worsening adherence and intervene early to reduce the risk of treatment failure and drug resistance.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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