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