A qualitative assessment of barriers and facilitators to ART adherence in Thai patients
AbstractObjectives: Excellent adherence to combination antiretroviral therapy can suppress HIV replication and produce life expectancies nearing those of individuals without HIV infection. This qualitative study sought to identify the barriers and facilitators to good antiretroviral medication adherence in Thai patients living with HIV. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a convenience sample (n=21) of patients attending routine clinic visits at Srinagarind Hospital in Khon Kaen, or HIV-NAT, the Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre in Bangkok. Results: Median informant age was 43 years (range 27–60 years) and 43% were female. We identified key facilitators and barriers to adherence among HIV-infected Thai patients along three major themes (patient-related, health system-related and medication-related). Stigma was a primary concern for most informants, operating throughout Thai society to induce feelings of shame for Thai people living with HIV. Determination to stay healthy and incorporate taking cART into their daily routine were key components of good adherence. Supportive and trusting relationships, particularly with the clinic team, empowered patients to maintain good medication adherence. Conclusions: Changing public perceptions about HIV, and training of HIV clinic staff on the importance of trusting and supportive provider–patient relationships in promoting good health outcomes, will help Thailand achieve its aim of having zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths by 2030.
HIV cure research
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