The Value of Support Group Participation in Influencing Adherence to Antiretroviral Treatment among People Living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)


Advances in antiretroviral therapy for both Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) treatment and prevention have increased interest in adherence to HIV treatment. This is because the individual patient and public health benefits of antiretroviral treatment (ART) greatly depend on the extent to which people living with HIV (PLHIV) adhere to the prescribed daily dosing regimens. Studies have shown that nonadherence to ART increases drug resistance, morbidity and person-to-person HIV transmission. Public health experts are trying different innovations to enhance ART adherence, including promoting support groups of PLHIV. The purpose of this study was to determine the value of support group participation in enhancing ART adherence. The study used a cross-sectional design to compare ART adherence among PLHIV who participate in support group activities and those who do not. Respondents were adults who were initiated on ART between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2012. Multistage probability sampling was used to select study sites and respondents. Data was collected using a self-administered questionnaire from 1676 respondents between February and May 2014. Data was analyzed using STATA. Univariate analysis was carried out to generate descriptive statistics, while Chi-square tests were used to examine if there was an association between participation in support group activities and antiretroviral treatment adherence. ART adherence was self-reported by 745/788 (95%) and 814/888 (92%) respondents who had ever and had never participated in support group activities respectively. Among respondents who reported nonadherence to ART, 74/117 (8%) had never participated in support group activities compared to just 43/117 (5%) who participated in support group activities. These findings suggest that PLHIV who participate in support group activities are more likely to adhere to ART than those who do not participate. This implies that there is value in participating in support groups by PLHIV in terms of ART adherence.

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Tumwikirize, S. , Torpey, K. , Adedokun, O. and Badru, T. (2015) The Value of Support Group Participation in Influencing Adherence to Antiretroviral Treatment among People Living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). World Journal of AIDS, 5, 189-198. doi: 10.4236/wja.2015.53022.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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