Revisiting Long-Term Adherence to Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy in Senegal Using Latent Class Analysis

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Background:Adherence is one of the main predictors of antiretroviral treatment success. A governmental initiative was launched in 1998 for HIV-infected patients in Senegal to provide access to highly active antiretroviral therapy.Methods:Between August 1998 and April 2002, 404 adult patients were enrolled. Adherence measurements, defined as pills taken/pills prescribed, were assessed between November 1999 and April 2009 using a pill count along with a questionnaire for 330 patients. Predictors of adherence were explored through a random-intercept Tobit model and a latent class analysis (LCA) was performed to identify adherence trajectories. We also performed a survival analysis taking into account gender and latent adherence classes.Results:Median treatment duration was 91 months (interquartile range, 84-101). On average, adherence declined by 7% every year, was 30% lower for patients taking indinavir, and 12% higher for those receiving cotrimoxazole prophylaxis. Based on the predicted probability of having an adherence ≥ 95%, LCA revealed 3 adherence behaviors and a better adherence for women. A quarter of patients had a high adherence trajectory over time and half had an intermediate one. Male gender and low adherence behavior over time were independently associated with a higher mortality rate.Conclusions:This study shows that an overall good adherence can be obtained in the long term in Senegal. LCA suggests a better adherence for women and points out a large subsample of patients with intermediate level of adherence behavior who are at risk for developing resistance to antiretroviral drugs. This study warrants further research into gender issues.

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