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Barriers and facilitators to antiretroviral therapy adherence among patients with HIV in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau: A qualitative study

Dlama N Rasmussen
David da Silva Té
Lotte Rodkjaer
Inés Oliveira
Candida Medina
Toke Barfod
Alex L Laursen
Peter Aaby
Morten Sodemann
Christian Wejse


Adherence is a decisive factor in achieving a successful response to antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV infection. No previous studies have been conducted regarding HIV treatment adherence in Guinea-Bissau. In this study we assessed barriers and facilitators to patient ART adherence. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 adult, HIV infected individuals receiving ART at a HIV treatment centre in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau. The grounded theory method was used to gather and analyse data. Results indicated that HIV-related knowledge was a determining factor for optimal adherence. The facilitators were experienced treatment benefits and complementing social networks. The barriers were treatment-related costs and competing livelihood needs; poor clinic infrastructure; perceived stigma; and traditional practices. Our findings indicate that good ART adherence, especially in resource-limited settings, requires that patients achieve adequate HIV-related knowledge. More studies on HIV-related knowledge and adherence among HIV infected individuals are currently needed.

Keywords: Africa, ART, compliance, grounded theory, HIV/AIDS, HIV-related knowledge, qualitative research

African Journal of AIDS (1): 1–8

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1608-5906
print ISSN: 1727-9445