Direct observation therapy-highly active antiretroviral therapy in a resource-limited setting: the use of community treatment support can be effective

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This study examines the use of various direct observation therapy-HAART treatment support modalities in Jos, Nigeria. A 12-month observational study enrolling 175 antiretroviral naïve patients into four arms of direct observation therapy-HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy); daily observed therapy (DOT), twice weekly observed therapy (TWOT), weekly observed therapy (WOT) and self-administered therapy (SAT), examined community treatment support using family and community members. Treatment outcomes were much better in the treatment-supported groups compared with the control self-therapy group. CD4 cell increases were 218/μL (DOT), 267/μL (TWOT), 205/μL (WOT) versus 224/μL (SAT), whereas plasma HIV-1 RNA reached undetectable levels (<400 copies/mL) in 91%, 88%, 84% versus 79% of patients in the DOT, TWOT, WOT versus SAT groups, respectively, at 48 weeks. We, therefore, strongly support the use of treatment support in our settings.

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