Patients’ adherence to antiretroviral therapy at Antiretroviral Therapy sites in Limpopo Province, South Africa
Adherence is the most important factor influencing successful antiretroviral therapy. Long term success with antiretroviral therapy (ART) requires taking 95% of medication. Less than 95% adherence can result in less than optimal therapeutic response and drug resistance. The aim of this study was to determine the adherence of patients to antiretroviral therapy at ART sites in Limpopo Province. A qualitative research approach was used to examine patients’ adherence to ART in the Limpopo Province. Non-probability purposive sampling was used to select 25 patients who were on ART in selected sites in Limpopo Province. Semi-structured interview guides were used to collect data until data saturation was reached. The data were analysed qualitatively using Tesch’s open coding method. The findings revealed three themes with sub-themes namely, challenges affecting adherence to antiretroviral drugs, antiretroviral drugs interactions’ with food and nutrition contributes to non-adherence and available support offered to patients on antiretroviral drugs. The study recommended that health care professionals should implement a patient-centered approach to educate patients about the side effects of ARV. Dieticians, nutritionists, home based care and community based organizations should be involved in the care of such patients. The patients must be encouraged to join support groups and educated about interactions between ARVs and nutrition.
Keywords: Adherence, antiretroviral drugs, antiretroviral therapy, antiretroviral, HIV/AIDS patients.
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