Adherence to Anti-Retroviral Treatment and Factors Associated with Optimal Adherence among Adolescent and Adult PLWHA Attending Comprehensive Care Centres in Selected Hospitals in Nairobi County

Mulia Wilfred Kisingu, Charles F L. Mbakaya, Anselimo Makokha, Gabriel G. Mbugua, James Kariuki, Erastus Muniu


Background: Anti-retroviral therapy (ART) has saved many lives from imminent deaths among PLWHA. However, the success is pegged on optimal (>95%) adherence to the ART by the PLWHA. The main objective of this study was to determine the ART adherence level by the PLWHA and the factors associated with the adherence.Methods: This was a cross sectional descriptive study on 454 PLWHA, attending Comprehensive Care Centres (CCCs) in selected hospitals in Nairobi County. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data. The Data was analysed using SPSS version 17.0. Results: There were 180 (39.6%) males and 274 (60.4%) females in the study. Majority (53.3%) PLWHA were aged between 40 and 49 years. Only 265 (58.4%) had optimal adherence to ART and duration on the ART was found to be significantly associated with optimal adherence to ART drugs.Conclusion: Optimal adherence was far below the recommended (>95%) mark and duration on  ART was found to be significantly associated with optimal adherence. That is, the shorter the time one had been on ART, the more the chances of being more adherent. Most PLWHA blamed forgetfulness as the main reason for their failure to take the ART drugs as required. Since Anti-Retroviral Treatment is a lifelong process, targeted counselling including reminders (ringing of a bell in the phone) and formation of groups for calling each other for remembrance would suffice.

Keywords: PLWHA; ART; optimal adherence; Forgetfulness.

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