Background: Nigeria has 10% of the global burden of HIV/AIDS and had HIV prevalence rate of 3.0% in 2014. Adherence to ART is a determinant of viral suppression and risk of transmission, disease progression but suboptimal adherence has been a major challenge associated with a diversity of patient- and programme-related challenges. This study was done to find factors that influence adherence to HAART among HIV/AIDS Patients in Southwest Nigeria.
Methods: Structured interviewer-administered questionnaires were used to collect information from the 225 participants.
Findings: There were more female (80.4%) than male (19.6%) living with HIV infection. About 96% of the respondents were literate with 2.7% illiteracy rate. Employment rate was also more than half (59%). Over 90% were of the Christianity faith. None of these and other factors had any significant influence on ability of the study participants to adhere to HAART (P>0.05). Excellent or optimal HAART adherence level (≥ 95%) was found among 42% of the respondents. Another 49% had fair adherence level of between 85% and 94% while 8.4% had poor level of adherence of <85%. The five commonest reasons given for failure to adhere were forgetfulness, Stigma, seeing someone with HIV doing well on HAART, fear of discrimination and the fact that HIV has no known cure.
Conclusion: In conclusion, demographic factors such as gender, religion, finance, education, marital status do not have any significant associations with adherence to HAART. In addition, less than half of the study participants living with HIV infection had excellent adherence level needed to ensure treatment success and good health. These findings showed that there is still a huge gap in PLHIV achieving optimal adherence on HAART and therefore health workers and HIV control programme implementers need to continually emphasize and support optimal adherence.
Abayomi Joseph Afe, Olanrewaju Motunrayo and Gbadebo O Ogungbade