Reduced Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy among Patients on Antiretroviral Therapy in Limpopo Province, South Africa
The purpose of this study was to explore the determining factors for reduced adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV positive patients on ART residing in Polokwane, in Limpopo Province of South Africa. This study made use of the generic qualitative research design and in-depth qualitative interviews to collect data from a purposive sample of patients who did not adhere to ART. Thematic content analysis was used to analyse the data collected from the 18 patients from four clinics in Polokwane offering ART to patients. The participants attributed their reduced adherence to service delivery, patients’ socio-economic status and family factors. The socio-economic status such as unemployment and abuse of alcohol leading to forgetfulness to take ART was among the factors cited by participants. Failure to disclose the health status to the family was indicated as the reason for reduced adherence to the treatment. None or partial adherence can lead to the development of drug-resistant strains of the virus. Health education on ART would assist the patients with managing the stigmatisation. In order to increase the understanding of the effects of alcohol on the ART, a lot of efforts need to be put on educating the patients about such interaction.
Keywords: Adherence to ART, Antiretroviral Therapy, Factors Associated, HIV, Multidrug Resistance