Main Article Content

Factors associated with readiness to start antiretroviral therapy (ART) among young people (15-24 years) at four HIV clinics in Mulago Hospital, Uganda

Jonathan Nkalubo
Moureen Mugaba
Ignatius Asasira
Racheal Nakiganda
Florence Namutebi
Nick Ntore Arnaud
Nicholas Kagumba Musisi
Trinity Abasira
Pius Jemba
Racheal Ndyabawe
Rosette Tumuhairwe
Charles Batte
Sabrina Bakeera-Kitaka


Introduction: Globally, the HIV burden continues to rise among young people despite the discovery of ART. This study assessed demographic and psycho-social factors among young people associated with readiness to be initiated on ART.

Methods: A quantitative cross-sectional study was conducted among newly diagnosed HIV positive young people aged 15-24 years at 4 HIV clinics at Mulago Hospital. Readiness was measured as a self-report by the individual to the question,
“How ready do you feel to start ART?

Results: Of the 231 young people enrolled, the mean age (SD) was 20.7years (+/-2.8) and most were female (66.2%). Majority were very ready (53.3%) and very motivated (51.1%) to start ART. Higher treatment readiness was associated with being female (95% CI [5.62, 8.31], p=0.003), thinking that ART cures HIV (95% CI [0.43, 0.86], p=0.005), history of having unprotected sex (95% CI [0.79, 0.87], p=<0.001), anticipating negative HIV results (95% CI [0.26, 0.88], p=0.017), internalized stigma (95% CI [0.83, 0.98], p=0.018) and knowledge of positive ART effects for others (95% CI [0.84, 0.93], p=<0.001).

Conclusions: Understanding the underlying factors associated with ART readiness among young people can inform strategies
to support and increase individuals’ readiness to initiate ART and early engagement in care.

Keywords: Antiretroviral therapy Readiness; Young people; Sub-Saharan Africa.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1729-0503
print ISSN: 1680-6905