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Primary Relationships, HIV Treatment Adherence, and Virologic Control

To identify factors associated with antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence and virologic control among HIV-positive men on ART in primary relationships, data were collected from 210 male couples (420 men). Dyadic actor-partner analyses investigated associations with three levels of adherence-related dependent variables: self-efficacy (ASE), self-reported adherence, and virologic control. Results indicated that higher patient ASE was related to his own positive beliefs about medications, higher relationship autonomy and intimacy, and fewer depressive symptoms. Fewer depressive symptoms and less relationship satisfaction in the partner were linked to higher ASE in the patient. Better self-reported adherence was related to the patient's positive appraisal of the relationship and the partner's positive treatment efficacy beliefs. Greater medication concerns of both patient and partner were associated with less adherence. The partner's higher relationship commitment was associated with lower viral load in the patient. Findings suggest that depressive symptoms, treatment beliefs, and relationship quality factors of both partners may influence adherence-related outcomes


Johnson, MO., Dilworth, SE., Taylor, JM., Darbes, LA., Comfort, M., & Neilands, TB. (2012). Primary Relationships, HIV Treatment Adherence, and Virologic Control. AIDS and Behavior, 16(6), 1511-1521. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-011-0021-0

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