Adherence to Antiretroviral therapy among clients with HIV/AIDS attending art clinic at Chikankata hospital
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The study was undertaken in order to asses the level of adherence to antiretroviral treatment among clients attending Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) clinic at Chikankata Hospital. Since its introduction in the mid-1990s, the benefits of Antiretroviral Therapy in the management of HIV disease have been well established. However, the universal access to antiretroviral drugs has created an enormous debate and controversy in developing countries because of the problem of adherence. To promote access to antiretroviral therapy, the prices of antiretroviral drugs have been removed in public health institutions. The objective of the study was to identify the factors influencing adherence to antiretroviral therapy among clients attending ART clinic at Chikankata Hospital. Literature review was based on issues such as socio-economic factors, disease and service related factors. A Descriptive Cross Section Study was conducted. The sample size consisted of 322 respondents on antiretroviral treatment. The sample was selected by systematic sampling method. A sampling frame was obtained from the ART register. Data was' collected using an interview schedule. The Self- Reported Method was used to measure adherence. The data was analyzed using Epi-info statistical software. A p value of 0.05 or less was considered significant. The study revealed an adherence rate of 82 %. The results also revealed that the reasons for missing doses by respondents included: being busy with other activities (31%) , running out of drugs due to missing review dates (14 %), change in daily routine (14%) and stigma(12%). In addition, the number of times one has received Information, Education and Communication(lEC) on antiretroviral adherence had positive influence on adherence (p value 0.006). The more information is given in form of education, the more adherent the client becomes. The number of tablets prescribed (p value 0.016) had positive influence on adherence to antiretroviral treatment. On the other hand, socio-economic factors such as employment, income and level of education did not affect adherence. There is need therefore, for the Zambian Government through the Ministry of Health to continue expanding access to ARVs despite the socio- economic status of clients with HIV/AIDS. Health education should emphasize the importance of adherence and should focus on fighting stigma and alcohol use.