Factors Affecting Antiretroviral Drug Adherence Among Hiv/Aids Adult Patients Attending Hiv/Aids Clinic At Moi Teaching And Referral Hospital, Eldoret, Kenya

  • NC Talam
  • P Gatongi
  • J Rotich
  • S Kimaiyo
Keywords: Adherence, antiretroviral drugs, factors of adherence, taking medication at prescribed times, keeping clinic appointments


Objective: To determine important factors that affect antiretroviral drug adherence among HIV/AIDS male and female adult patients (18 years and above) attending Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Eldoret, Kenya. Methods: A cross sectional study involving 384 HIV/AIDS adult patients attending Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Eldoret was conducted. These patients were on ARV drugs. They were investigated for factors that affected their drug adherence based on observing the timing of doses and keeping of clinic appointments for drug refills during the months of May, June and July 2005. Data were collected from the respondents using interviewer–administered questionnaires to patients and self-administered questionnaires by ten key informants (nurses and clinicians in charge of HIV/AIDS clinic) selected by purposive sampling. The key variables examined were demographic, other characteristics of the patients and adherence factors. Data were analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 10.0 for frequencies, cross-tabulations and Chi-Squared test and statistical significance set at p<0.05. Results: Sixty-eight percent of the respondents on ARVs were females. 52.1% had secondary and post secondary education. They were aged between 18-63 years (mean age 36.1 ±8.5 years). Results showed that only 43.2% adhered to the prescribed time of taking drugs. The most commonly cited reasons for missing the prescribed dosing time by the patients were: Being away from home 68.8%, being too busy 58.9%, forgetting 49.0%, having too many medicines to take 32.6% and stigma attached to ARVs 28.9%. There was no significant difference between males and females based on timing of taking medications (χ2= 2.9412, p = 0.0861). On the basis of keeping clinic appointments, all the respondents claimed to adhere to scheduled clinics. However, from hospital records, it was established that only 93.5% of the respondents kept clinic appointments. The most common reasons for poor adherence to clinic appointments were; Being away from home (50%), forgetting (50%), being too busy (50%), stigma (70%), feeling sick (80%) and changes in work routine (60%). Conclusion: The key factors affecting adherence were; being away from home, being busy and forgetting. It was recommended that patients should be educated on the importance of strict adherence to the prescribed doses of ARVs as a suitable measure of intervention. Future research should explore multiple–target interventions to resolve the barriers to adherence.

Keywords: Adherence, antiretroviral drugs, factors of adherence, taking medication at prescribed times, keeping clinic appointments

East African Journal of Public Health Vol. 5 (2) 2008: pp. 74-78

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