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Adherence to HAART is necessary to achieve the best virologic response and lower the risk of drug resistance amongst People living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV). However, there is limited documentation of adherence amongst patients on HAART in the south-south region of Nigeria. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and determinants of adherence to HAART amongst PLHIV in a rural setting in Cross River State. A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among 393 patients on HAART attending the Heart to Heart centre Ugep using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. Adherence was measured via self report and patients were termed adherent if they took at least 95% of prescribed doses. The self reported adherence rate based on a one week recall was 50.4%. The main reason for skipping doses were being busy (50.6%), simply forgetting to take medications (43.8%) and religious constraints (16%). Perceived improved health status [OR 2.7; CI: 1.37-5.39], Non use of herbal remedies, [OR 1.8; 95% CI: 1.23- 2.64] and ARV regimens devoid of dietary instructions [OR 1.49; 95% CI: 1.07- 2.06] were significant predictors of adherence. The adherence rate reported in this study was low. Appropriate adherence enhancing intervention strategies targeted at use of simplified ARV regimens and discouraging herbal use is strongly recommended. (Afr J Reprod Health 2014; 18: 133-144).
Keywords: Adherence, PLHIV, HAART, rural setting, Nigeria.