Adherence to antiretroviral therapy among patients with HIV: a critical link between behavioral and biomedical sciences.
Rapid advances in biomedical science, such as pharmaceutical developments for HIV disease, must be integrated with advances in behavioral science to further our understanding of medication adherence. This article evaluates the current state of the science in adherence to antiretroviral therapy for persons with HIV. The primary objectives are to 1) identify critical determinants of adherence, and 2) describe interventions to improve adherence. Adherence is a complex dynamic behavior influenced by characteristics of the patient, treatment regimen, disease, patient-provider relationship, and clinical setting. Therefore, the most promising interventions are multifaceted and target different locations in this matrix simultaneously. Unfortunately, nonadherence remains a formidable barrier in the management of HIV, resulting in the development of resistance and drug failure. Moreover, adherence is a public health concern, with implications for the transmission of HIV in general and the transmission of drug-resistant strains of HIV specifically. Despite substantial attention to adherence in recent years, much more remains to be done to better understand and promote adherence to antiretroviral therapy through effective interventions. From this integration of biomedical and behavioral science, effective clinical interventions can be developed and implemented to enhance the health of patients with HIV.
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