Treatment adherence in patients living with HIV/AIDS assisted at a specialized facility in Brazil

<div><p>Abstract INTRODUCTION: In the 1990s, Brazil adopted a public policy that allowed for universal, free access to antiretroviral therapy (ART). Since then, treatment adherence has become a new challenge for administrators of sexually transmitted disease/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (STD/AIDS) policies. This study quantified adherence to ART and verified whether there is an association between sociodemographic variables and clinical/laboratory data in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional, exploratory study with a quantitative approach that was conducted over 8 months. The target population contained patients who were assisted at the ambulatory care facility specialized in STD/AIDS of a medium-size city located in Northwest São Paulo. In order to verify the level of adherence to ART, a validated CEAT-VIH (Assessment of Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy Questionnaire) questionnaire was used. Sociodemographic aspects and clinical/laboratory data were obtained from the medical records. The results were analyzed using the Student's t-test and Pearson's coefficient. RESULTS Herein, 109 patients were interviewed, 56% of whom were male. The age of the population ranged 18-74 years (mean 45.67 years). Adherence to ART was classified as insufficient in 80.7% of cases. There was an association between ART adherence and presence of symptoms and/or opportunistic infection (p=0.008) and economic status (p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Adherence to ART among HIV carriers cared for by the public health system is low. Patients who reported a favorable economic status and those without symptoms and/or opportunistic infection demonstrated greater treatment adherence than those who needed to take more than 3 pills a day.</p></div>