PERCEIVED DETERMINANTS OF ADHERENCE TO ANTIRETROVIRAL DRUG THERAPY AMONG PERSONS LIVING WITH HIV IN HEALTH FACILITIES IN THE UPPER EAST REGION: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY
AbstractSeveral people living with HIV (PLHIV) currently receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) do not commence early treatment. This has failed viral suppression and led to excess mortality. It is therefore relevant to explore perceived factors of ART adherence among HIV clients in the Upper East Region. Ten in-depth interviews and three focus group discussions were held with thirty HIV clients on ART and seven key informant interviews were held with ART nurses, pharmacist and data managers. Qualitative interviews were recorded, transcribed and analyzed thematically using Nvivo version 11. Most PLHIV adhered to ART treatment and adherence inhibitors were side effects of ART, lack of National Health Insurance, lack of nutritional support, stigma and discrimination against PLHIV, poor attitudes of health staff, non-disclosure of HIV status, inadequate family support, economic problems, lack of confidentiality and queuing up for ART. Promoters of adherence were nutritional support, reminder aids, effective counselling, improved health status and a desire to have children as well as stigma-reduction policies. Policymakers and health promoters should reemphasize the strengths associated with adhering to ART. Policymakers and donors should support PLHIV with food and health staff should be regularly refreshed on HIV case management. Keywords: Adherence, Antiretroviral, Therapy, HIV, Clinic
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