Background: Adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) regimen, of at least 95%, is necessary for effective therapeutic response among People Living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (PLWHIV). This study determined the factors associated with non-adherence of PLWHIV to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) regimen among patients attending a healthcare facility in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.
Methodology: Two hundred and fifty one patients, aged 18 to 70 years, attending a healthcare facility in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria from 8th July to 8th August 2018, were adequately informed and their consent was obtained to enroll in the study. The enrollees were defined as non-adherent (NA), if, for any reason, they missed at least one dose of their drug within the last 30 days. These NA enrollees were purposively selected. The data was obtained using interviewer-administered semi-structured questionnaire The data obtained was checked for completeness, coded and technique analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 22 software. The statistical association between variables was described using logistic regression.
Results: Of the 251 PLWHIV, 100 (39.84%) were NA enrollees. Three major reasons provided by enrollees for missing medication were: 1). forgetfulness 41%, 2). travelling with incomplete medication and difficulty in the accessing drug from a new clinic, 15% and 3). Not willing to take HIV/AIDS drugs with other prescribed drugs, 10%.
Conclusion: This study has shown that a majority of PLWHIV (60.16%) complied with therapy regimen. Forgetfulness was the most common factor reported for non-adherence by the enrollees. This suggests that there is an increasing need for healthcare personnel to encourage patients to use Memory Aids, and to increase the awareness of the consequences of non-adherence during drug administration.
Keywords: Highly Active Antiretroviral therapy, HIV/AIDS, Medication Non adherence, Healthcare Facility