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Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine

On-line version ISSN 2078-6751
Print version ISSN 1608-9693

Abstract

AZIA, Ivo N.; MUKUMBANG, Ferdinand C.  and  VAN WYK, Brian. Barriers to adherence to antiretroviral treatment in a regional hospital in Vredenburg, Western Cape, South Africa. South. Afr. j. HIV med. (Online) [online]. 2016, vol.17, n.1, pp.1-8. ISSN 2078-6751.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajhivmed.v17i1.476.

BACKGROUND: South Africa currently runs the largest public antiretroviral treatment (ART) programme in the world, with over 80% of people living with HIV and/or AIDS on ART. However, in order to appreciate the benefits of using ART, patients are subject to uncompromising and long-term commitments of taking at least 95% of their treatment as prescribed. Evidence shows that this level of adherence is seldom achieved because of a multilevel and sometimes interwoven myriad of factors. OBJECTIVE: We described the challenges faced by patients on ART in Vredenburg with regard to ART adherence. METHODS: A descriptive qualitative research design was used. Eighteen non-adhering patients on ART in the Vredenburg regional hospital were purposefully selected. Using a semi-structured interview guide, we conducted in-depth interviews with the study participants in their mother tongue (Afrikaans). The interviews were audio-taped, transcribed verbatim and translated into English. The data were analysed manually using the thematic content analysis method. RESULTS: Stigma, disclosure, unemployment, lack of transport, insufficient feeding, disability grants and alternative forms of therapy were identified as major barriers to adherence, whereas inadequate follow-ups and lack of patient confidentiality came under major criticisms from the patients. CONCLUSION: Interventions to address poverty, stigma, discrimination and disclosure should be integrated with group-based ART adherence models in Vredenburg while further quantitative investigations should be carried out to quantify the extent to which these factors impede adherence in the community.

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