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Strategies to improve HIV treatment adherence in developed countries: clinical management at the individual level

Publication year: 
Author (s): 
Enriquez, Maithe; McKinsey, David S.
Publication details: 
Kansas City, Dove Medical Press Ltd., 2011
Publication in: 
HIV/AIDS - Research and Palliative Care 2011:3 45–51

Remarkable advances in the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
disease have been blunted by widespread suboptimal adherence (ie, nonadherence), which has emerged as a major barrier to achieving the primary goal of antiretroviral (ARV) therapy: suppression of HIV viral load. Nonsuppressed HIV viral load is associated with drug resistance, increased morbidity and mortality, and a higher risk of person-to-person HIV transmission. For HIV-infected individuals who are failing HIV treatment due to nonadherence, becoming adherent is a life-saving behavior change. However, overcoming nonadherence is one of the most daunting challenges in the successful management of HIV disease. The purpose of this paper is to provide clinicians with a better understanding of nonadherence to ARV treatment and to review the various factors that have been associated with either adherence or nonadherence. Strategies are presented that may help the nonadherent individual become ready to take HIV
medications as prescribed.