Dose timing of anti-retroviral drugs among HIV-infected adolescents in a Sub-Saharan tertiary health institution
Background: The introduction and use of antiretroviral therapy among HIV-infected persons has recorded successes when adherence is kept at a level of ≥95%. Studies show that adherence to the prescribed antiretroviral dose timing is an important factor in achieving this success. The aim of the study was to determine the proportion of HIV-infected adolescents adherent to prescribed dose timing, assess the level of difficulty to adherence to dose timing and identify factors associated with adherence to dose timing of prescribed antiretroviral therapy medications.
Methods: A prospective study design was used to carry out the study in Abuja, Nigeria. Each enroled adolescent was followed up for 6 months at two monthly intervals.
Results: Results from 135 adolescents aged 10 to 19 years were analysed. Majority were males 73 (54.1%), aged 10 to 13 years (n= 76; 56.3%) and Christians (n = 102; 75.6%). One hundred and four (77.03%) adolescents had never had a problem with taking their drugs while 94% were adherent to their scheduled dose timing medication. There was a weak association between adherence to dose timing and the age of the adolescent (p= 0.043 OR= 4.08 CI 0.69-23.2).
Conclusion: The proportion of adolescents adherent to dose timing was high. Majority did not have a problem with taking their ARV medications. It is recommended that dose timing adherence of scheduled ARV medications be assessed routinely along with other adherence measures as studies have shown its importance in viral load suppression and prevention of drug resistance.
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