Assessment of ART knowledge and adherence to ARVs among PLWHA accessing care in two Nigerian Military HIV/AIDS Treatment sites

  • David Ufuoma Adje Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria
  • Felicia Esemekiphorar Williams Dept. of Clinical pharmacy and pharmacy practice, University of Ilorin, Nigeria
  • Chukwuka Nicholas Bezugbe Naval Hospital, Lagos
  • Dauda Audi Dangiwa Dept. of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Practice, University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria
Keywords: Adherence, antiretroviral medicines, Antiretroviral therapy, Knowledge, Nigeria, HIV


Background:       Adherence to Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) is critical in achieving treatment goals, avoiding antimicrobial resistance, preventing treatment failure and improving the patient’s quality of life.

Objectives: To assess the knowledge of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and adherence to antiretroviral (ARVs) medicines amongst People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) accessing care in two Nigerian Military HIV/AIDS Treatment sites.

Methods: Four hundred patients on HAART who visited the study sites during the study period were recruited for the study using systematic random sampling method. A semi-structured, pretested, interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to obtain demographic details. Patients’ knowledge of HIV was assessed using an 8-item questionnaire while adherence was measured using the Simplified Medication Adherence Questionnaire (SMAQ).

Results: The predominant age group was 31-40 years (46.4%). There were more females (69%) than males (31%). Only 45.5% answered knowledge questions correctly. The adherence level in this study was 64.0%. The major reasons cited for non-adherence included being away from home (23.6%), forgetfulness (17.1%), busy schedule (14%), need to conceal medication (12.7%) and feeling better (11.6%).

Conclusion: Patients’ knowledge of ART and adherence to ARVs medicines were sub-optimal. Appropriate strategies to improve patients’ knowledge of ART and adherence to ARVs are recommended.

Author Biography

David Ufuoma Adje, Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria



UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS epidemic. [online] Available from: [Accessed 7 June 2014].

UN Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS 2011. [online] Available from: [Accessed 7 June 2014].

Nigeria Global AIDS Response Progress Report 2014. Available at 16/5/2015

Federal Ministry of health Nigeria Integrated National Guidelines for HIV Prevention, Treatment and Care in Nigeria 2014. ISBN: 978-978-50455-6-7 .Available at 16/3/15

Adherence to ART ,Available at http://aidsinfo.nih,gov,guidelines.htm .Accessed 6/9/15

Jackevicius CA, Mamdani M, Tu JV. Adherence with statin therapy in elderly patients with and without acute coronary syndromes. JAMA 2002; 288:462-7.

Cramer JA, Mattson RH, Prevey ML, Scheyer RD, Ouellette VL. How often is medication taken as prescribed? A novel assessment technique. JAMA 2003; 261:3273-7.

Haynes RB, Mcdonald HP, Garg AX. (2002) Helping patients follow prescribed treatment: clinical complications. JAMA 2002; 288(22):2880-3.

Bangsberg, D R, Perry S, Charlebois E D, Clark R A, Robertson M, Zolopa AR, Moss A Non - adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy predicts progression to AIDS. AIDS 2001; 15(9):1181-1183.

Wagner JH, Justice AC, Chesney M, Sinclair G, Weissman S, Rodriguez-Barradas M. Patient- and Provider-reported adherence. J. Clin. Epidemiol. 2001; 54: Suppl. 1: S91-S98.

Yamane formula for calculating sample size [online] Available from: [Accessed 15/8/2015]

Knobel H, Alonso J, Casado J L, Collazaos J, Gonzalez J, and Ruiz I, Kindelan JM, Carmona A, Juega J. Ocampo A, GEEMA study group- Validation of a simplified medication adherence questionnaire in a large cohort of HIV- infected patients: the GEEMA study. AIDS 2002,mar 8;16(4):605-13

IBM Corp. IBM SPSS Statistics for windows, Version 21.0.Armonk.NY; IBM Corp.

Oyore JP, Mwanzo IJ, Orago AS, Odhiambo-Otieno GW Determinants of adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) among patients attending public and private health facilities in Nairobi, Kenya. Journal of AIDS and HIV Research 2013; 5(3): 70-74.

Yao P, Kpatcha T, Agnon B, Vincent PP, Innocent PG, Etienne KK. (2010) Knowledge and adherence to antiretroviral therapy amongst adult people living with HIV/AIDS treated in the health care centers of the association” Espoir Vie Togo” in Togo, West Africa. BMC Clinical Pharmacology 2010; 10:11

Iliyasu I, Kabir M, Abubakar I, Babashani M, Zubair Z. Compliance to antiretroviral therapy among AIDS patients in Amino Kano Teaching Hospital Kano. Nigeria J Med. 2005; 14(3): 290-294.

Oku AO, Owoaje ET, Ige OK, Oyo-ita A. Prevalence and determinants of adherence to HAART amongst PLHIV in a tertiary health facility in south-south Nigeria. BMC Infectious Diseases. 2013; 13:401.

Bello SI HIV/AIDS Patients’ Adherence to Antiretroviral therapy in Sobi Specialist Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria. Global Journal of Medical Research 2011; XI (2): 16-21.

Olowookere SA, Fatiregun AA, Akinyemi JO, Bamgboye A. (2008) Prevalence and determinants of non- adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy among people living with HIV/AIDS in Ibadan, Nigeria. J .Infect. Dev. Ctries 2008;2(5): 369-372

Agu KA, Okojie O, Oqua D, King RC, Omonaiye O, Onuoha C (2011) Medication Adherence and Risk factors for non-adherence among patients taking Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy. West Afr. J. Pharm. 2011; 22(1): 19-26.

Amberbir A, Woldemichael K, Getachew S, Girma B, Deribe K. Predictors of adherence to antiretroviral therapy among HIV-infected persons: a prospective study in Southwest Ethiopia. BMC Public Health 2008; 8(265): 1-10.

Wakibi SN, Nga’ng’a ZW, Mbugua GG. Factors associated with non-adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy in Nairobi, Kenya. AIDS Res.Ther.2011; 43: 1-8.

Talaam NC, Gatongi P, Rotich S. Factors affecting antiretroviral Drug Adherence among HIV/AIDS Adult Patients attending HIV/AIDS clinic at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Eldoret, Kenya. East Afr. J. Public Health.2008; 5(2): 74-78.

Kleeberger C, Phair J Strathdee S, Detels R, Kingsley L, Jacobson L. Determinants of heterogeneous adherence to HIV antiretroviral therapies in the multicenter AIDS Cohort Study. J. Acquir. Immune Defic. Syndr. 2001; 26(1): 82-92.

Uzochukwu B, Onwujekwe O, Onoka A, Okoli C, Uguru N, Chukwuogo O. Determinants of non-adherence to subsidized antiretroviral treatment in Southeast Nigeria. Health Policy Plan. 2009, 24:189-196.

Afolabi MO, Ijadunola KT, Fatusi AO. (2009) Determinants of adherence to antiretroviral drugs among people living with HIV/AIDS in the Ife-Ijesa of Osun State, Nigeria. Afri J Prim Health Care Fam. Mad. 2009; I(1)1:6

Original Research