90-90-90-Plus: Maintaining Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapies

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Abstract

Medication adherence is the “Plus” in the global challenge to have 90% of HIV-infected individuals tested, 90% of those who are HIV positive treated, and 90% of those treated achieve an undetectable viral load. The latter indicates viral suppression, the goal for clinicians treating people living with HIV (PLWH). The comparative importance of different psychosocial scales in predicting the level of antiretroviral adherence, however, has been little studied. Using data from a cross-sectional study of medication adherence with an international convenience sample of 1811 PLWH, we categorized respondent medication adherence as None (0%), Low (1-60%), Moderate (61-94%), and High (95-100%) adherence based on self-report. The survey contained 13 psychosocial scales/indices, all of which were correlated with one another (p < 0.05 or less) and had differing degrees of association with the levels of adherence. Controlling for the influence of race, gender, education, and ability to pay for care, all scales/indices were associated with adherence, with the exception of Berger's perceived stigma scale. Using forward selection stepwise regression, we found that adherence self-efficacy, depression, stressful life events, and perceived stigma were significant predictors of medication adherence. Among the demographic variables entered into the model, nonwhite race was associated with double the odds of being in the None rather than in the High adherence category, suggesting these individuals may require additional support. In addition, asking about self-efficacy, depression, stigma, and stressful life events also will be beneficial in identifying patients requiring greater adherence support. This support is essential to medication adherence, the Plus to 90-90-90.

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