Risk factors for suboptimal antiretroviral therapy adherence in HIV-infected adolescents in Gaborone, Botswana: a pilot cross-sectional study.
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<p><strong>OBJECTIVE: </strong>Little is known about factors associated with suboptimal antiretroviral treatment (ART) adherence among adolescents in Sub-Saharan Africa. Our objective was to determine the level of ART adherence and predictors of non-adherence among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected adolescents at the Botswana-Baylor Children's Clinical Centre of Excellence in Gaborone, Botswana.</p>
<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>In a cross-sectional study, 82 HIV-infected adolescents receiving ART and their caregivers were administered a structured questionnaire. The patient's clinical information was retrieved from medical records. Outcome measures included excellent pill count ART adherence (>95%) and virologic suppression (HIV viral load <400 copies/mL). Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to identify independent predictors of ART non-adherence.</p>
<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>The overall median (interquartile range) ART adherence was 99% (96.5-100) (N = 82). Seventy-six percent of adolescents had excellent pill count ART adherence levels and 94% achieved virologic suppression. Male adolescents made up 65% of the non-adherent group (P = 0.02). Those who displayed suboptimal ART adherence were more likely to report having ever missed ART doses due to failure to pick up medication at the pharmacy (30.0% versus 9.7%, P = 0.03). In the multivariate logistic regression model, male sex (odds ratio [OR] 3.29, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.13-9.54; P = 0.03) was the only factor which was independently associated with suboptimal ART adherence.</p>
<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>A high proportion of HIV-infected adolescents studied had excellent ART adherence and virologic suppression, with male adolescents at higher risk of suboptimal adherence than females. Further research to investigate how sex relates to suboptimal adherence may aid in the design of targeted intervention strategies.</p>
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