Antiretroviral uptake in Australia: medical, attitudinal and cultural correlates

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Summary:The objective of this study was to describe the medical, attitudinal and cultural correlates of antiretroviral uptake amongst people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in Australia. Stratified purposive sampling produced a sample of 925 PLWHA, which represents 8.3% of the current population of PLWHA in Australia. Respondents completed a self-administered questionnaire which revealed that 78% of respondents were using antiretroviral drugs for HIV/AIDS. Logistic regression revealed that PLWHA were more likely to use antiretroviral drugs if they had more favourable attitudes toward antiretroviral drugs, if they had been diagnosed with an AIDS-defining illness, and if they had ever had a CD4/T-cell count below 400 copies/ml blood. Women were less likely than men to use antiretroviral drugs, and logistic regression revealed different predictors of antiretroviral drug use amongst men and women. Given the importance of attitudes toward antiretroviral drugs, it is likely that if the current confidence in antiretroviral drugs were to change, this would be reflected in an equally rapid cessation of treatment amongst many PLWHA.

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