Original Research

Factors that positively influence adherence to antiretroviral therapy by HIV and/or AIDS patients and their caregivers

Andrew J. Ross, Myint Aung, Laura Campbell, Gboyega A. Ogunbanjo
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 3, No 1 | a196 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v3i1.196 | © 2011 Andrew J. Ross, Myint Aung, Laura Campbell, Gboyega A. Ogunbanjo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 May 2010 | Published: 04 August 2011

About the author(s)

Andrew J. Ross, Department of Family Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Myint Aung, Dundee Hospital, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Laura Campbell, Department of Family Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Gboyega A. Ogunbanjo, Department of Family Medicine and Primary Health Care, University of Limpopo (Medunsa Campus), South Africa


Background: The importance of dedicated adherence to antiretroviral treatment (ART) in the management of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is well documented. Multiple factors may affect adherence and this study explores patients’ and their caregivers’ perceptions of factors which may positively influence adherence to ART.

Method: This study was a descriptive, qualitative study that used both free attitude interviews and focus-group discussions. Nineteen patients attending a busy ART-clinic at a district hospital in KwaZulu-Natal and eight caregivers were purposefully selected. Selection criteria included good adherence to ARTs as evidenced by excellent clinic attendance for more than one year with evidence of clinical, immunological and viral improvement. Interviews were tape recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed.

Results: Ten female participants, nine male participants and eight caregivers took part in the study. Participants highlighted three main categories that positively affect their adherence to ART namely: patient, disease and health care provider-related factors. Sub-themes included issues related to acceptance, disclosure to significant others, symptomatic improvement on ARTs and the importance of supportive relationships. Participants greatly valued the health care provider relationship and felt that the main role of the health care provider was to educate and support.

Conclusion: This study has shown that the factors which most influenced adherence were patient-related (acceptance, disclosure, determination, and family support), disease-related and treatment-related (symptomatic illness and improvement on ARTs), and healthcare worker-related (relationships, and adherence classes).


AIDS; HIV; adherence; caregivers; patients; disclosure; responsibility


Total abstract views: 7030
Total article views: 17263


Crossref Citations

1. “# FITNESS”: impact of Instagram on exercise adherence and self-efficacy
Kritika Chaudhary, Megha Dhillon
International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology  vol: 20  issue: 2  first page: 337  year: 2022  
doi: 10.1080/1612197X.2020.1869804