• Article

Adherence to Antiretroviral Medications in an Inner City Population

Adherence to antiretroviral medications is essential for optimal treatment of HIV infection. We investigated nonadherence to antiretroviral medications in an inner-city population by using a confidential interview and a self-administered anonymous questionnaire. We estimated adherence on the day before and the month before the interview and asked reasons for nonadherence. Of 173 people who were taking antiretroviral medications, all participated in the confidential interview and 101 also completed the anonymous questionnaire. Results of the confidential interview and the anonymous questionnaire revealed rates of 6% and 28%, respectively, for nonadherence to any drug on the preceding day and of 11% and 39%, respectively, in the preceding month. The most common reasons for nonadherence in both methods were forgetfulness, inaccessibility of medications, and perceived or actual toxicity. On 12% of the anonymous questionnaires one reason for nonadherence was perceived or actual lack of drug efficacy: this reason was not given in any of the confidential interviews. Responses about the extent of nonadherence and the reasons for it may differ depending on the method of ascertainment. Interventions to improve adherence should focus on making medication dosages easier to remember, ensuring a continued supply of medications, and circumventing toxicities


Weidle, P., Ganea, C., Irwin, K., McGowan, J., Ernst, J., Olivo, N., & Holmberg, S. (1999). Adherence to Antiretroviral Medications in an Inner City Population. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and Human Retrovirology, 22(5), 498-502.