Adherence to antiretroviral therapy among HIV-infected children receiving care at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC), Northern Tanzania: A cross- sectional analytical study
Introduction: Paediatric adherence to Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) is a dynamic process involving many factors. Adherence for the majority on therapy matters to prevent failure of 1st and 2st line therapy. The purpose of this study was to determine the rate of adherence to antiretroviral therapy in HIV infected children.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional hospital based analytical study, from October 2011 to April 2012. HIV-infected children aged 2 to 17 years who had been on treatment for at least six months were enrolled. Data were collected by a standard questionnaire. Two-day self-report, one month self-recall report, and pill count were used to assess adherence.
Results: One hundred and eighty three respondents participated in this research. There were 92 (51%) males and 91 (49%) females. Only 45 (24.6%) had good adherence to their drug regimen when subjected to all three methods of assessment. Males were more adherent to ART than females (OR= 2.26, CI 1.05-4.87, p=0.04). Adherence was worse among children who developed ART side effects (OR= 0.19, CI 0.07- 0.56;p=0.01), could not attend clinic on regular basis (OR= 3.4, CI 1.60- 7.36, p=0.01) and missed drug doses in the six months period prior to interview (OR= 0.40, CI 0.18- 0.82, p= 0.01).
Conclusion: Only 24.6% of paediatric patients had good adherence to ART when subjected to all three measures.Drug sideeffects, missing drug doses in the six months period prior to study start, monthly income and affording transportation to the clinicwere strong predictors of adherence.
Key words: HAART, Adherence, Tanzania, HIV, children