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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Brown Researchers Assess Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy in Ethiopia

Despite early success in adherence to antiretroviral therapy in African countries, researchers increasingly have pointed out that adherence will likely decline over time as people continue to experience the challenges of sustaining long-term adherence to multi-drug antiviral medications. In such resource-poor settings, with poor monitoring systems and limited access to second-line treatment, adherence behaviors must be understood and addressed to mitigate treatment failure and implement effective adherence interventions.

The purpose of this study by Dr. Yordanos Tiruneh, Research Associate in Health Services, Policy & Practice, and Dr. Ira Wilson, Professor and Chair of Health Services, Policy & Practice, was to assess adherence to antiretroviral therapy among people living with HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia. Furthermore, Dr. Tirunah and Dr. Wilson aimed to explore the sociocultural context in which those in Ethiopia relate to their antiretroviral regimen requirements. Data were collected through interviews with 105 patients currently taking antiretrovirals.

The researchers found that study participants were highly adherent to dose, but less adherence to dose schedule. Strict dose time instructions were reported as stressful and unrealistic. The researchers hypothesized that the discrepancy between adherence to dose and dose schedule could be explained by time perception, difficulty with the strictness of medication regiments, or beliefs about dose timing adherence.

This study contributes to an emerging body of knowledge about medication practices in non-Western settings by focusing on adherence practices among those living with HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia. Considering the results of this study, care providers would benefit from engaging in adherence conversations that help patients safely map regimen instructions onto the social environments that give life its rich complexity.

This study was published in AIDS and Behavior, Volume 20, Issue 11, 2016.

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