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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Masters of Public Health in the field of Health Measurement
Title A study on the barriers to Anti-retroviral Therapy adherence among Human Immunodeficiency Virus infected adolescents in Gaborone (Botswana)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
URL report &​abstract.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
Introduction: Barriers associated with good adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) among
human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infected adolescents are multiple and complex. Those
barriers contribute to low adherence levels putting infected adolescents at risk of developing
resistance and decreasing their survival time. Patients care givers psychosocial and demographic
variables, medication related factors and health care delivering factors are among the barriers
that correlate with non adherence to antiretroviral drugs (ART’s) among HIV infected
adolescents. Those barriers vary across individuals within the same population of adolescents.
This study was conducted to determine the level of adherence among HIV infected adolescents
on ART and to identify barriers associated with non adherence among this population attending
the Botswana Baylor Children’s Clinical Center of Excellence (COE) in Gaborone, Botswana.
Materials and methods: A cross sectional analytical study using quantitative data was
performed. A structured, self administrated questionnaire adapted from the AIDS Clinical Trials
Group (ACTG) was used to identify the barriers while the socio-demographic and clinical data
were retrieved from study participants’ medical records. The adherence level was estimated
using the pharmacy pill count technique. The adolescents aged 13 to 18 years receiving ART for
more than 6 months and attending the ART National Program at the time of the study and who
did assent and had their care givers consent to participate in the study were included in the
Results: A high adherence level (75.6%) was reported among the study participants. Besides
gender, no other socio-demographic and clinical variables showed association with non
adherence. Male adolescents were found to be 70% less likely to adhere to their medication than
their counterpart females [p= 0.020, OR=0.30, 95% CI (0.10 – 0.85)]. Furthermore adolescents
who missed a dose because their pills were not collected from the pharmacy either by themselves
or by their care givers were 77 % less likely to adhere to their ART medication than those who
did not miss a dose because they had their medication collected [p= 0.019, OR= 0.23, 95%CI
(0.064 – 0.837)].
Conclusion: A high proportion of HIV infected adolescents attending the Baylor Center of
Excellence ART National Program were adherent to their medication. Despite the high level
adherence to ART among this age group, interventions to improve adherence level should be
designed with a focus on male adolescents and to reinforce counseling of care givers and
adolescents about the hazards of poor adherence to treatment. Further research is however,
needed to elucidate more about the two main barriers that were found to be significantly
associated with non adherence among adolescents at Botswana Baylor Children’s Clinical Center
of Excellence: male-gender and medication collection from the pharmacy

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