Trends in HIV Treatment Adherence Before and After HIV Status Disclosure to Adolescents in Botswana.

Year of Publication


Date Published

2020 Apr 24

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<p><strong>PURPOSE: </strong>This study aimed to determine if disclosure of HIV status to adolescents impacted their medication adherence and how medication autonomy might explain observed effects.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>Three hundred adolescents on HIV treatment using electronic medication monitors were followed for 24&nbsp;months while undergoing routine care. One hundred six of the adolescents were HIV disclosure-naïve and HIV status disclosure in this group was assessed quarterly. Analyses included data from the 75 adolescents who experienced disclosure during the study providing adherence and autonomy data both predisclosure and postdisclosure. Segmented generalized estimating equations were used to examine the trend of adherence and autonomy predisclosure and postdisclosure. Covariates assessed include age at disclosure, sex, and orphan status.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Median age at study entry was 12.2&nbsp;years (interquartile range 11.6-12.9). Incident disclosure occurred in 75 (71%) of the adolescents at a median age of 13.1&nbsp;years (interquartile range 12.5-13.9). Adherence decreased by 11% (95% confidence interval [CI] 7-15, p &lt; .001) during the predisclosure period and by 22% (95% CI 9-36, p&nbsp;= .001) during the postdisclosure period. Adolescents' autonomy over their medication-taking increased over time, but disclosure did not impact the rate of increase in measured medication-taking autonomy. On a scale of 1-4 assessing autonomy (1&nbsp;= receiving directly observed therapy and 4&nbsp;= taking medicines mostly without supervision), autonomy increased by an average of .03 units/month (95% CI .02-.03, p &lt; .001) predisclosure and by .05 units/month (95% CI&nbsp;-.01 to .11, p&nbsp;= .42) postdisclosure.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>The findings suggest that, among perinatally HIV infected adolescents, HIV status disclosure may adversely impact treatment adherence. Postdisclosure support to HIV infected adolescents should be intensified.</p>



Alternate Title

J Adolesc Health




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