Author(s): Arage G, Tessema GA, Kassa H
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Poor adherence to antiretroviral therapy negatively affects the suppression of viral replication. It increases risks of drug resistance, treatment failure, Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)-related morbidity and mortality among children. This study assessed the level of adherence to antiretroviral therapy and its associated factors among children at hospitals in South Wollo Zone, Northeast Ethiopia. METHODS: An institution-based cross-sectional study was conducted among Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-infected children in April 2013. A total of 464 children who were taking Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) in the hospitals were included. Data were collected using pretested and structured questionnaires using a face-to-face interview method. Descriptive and summary statistics were employed. Bivariate and multiple logistic regressions were computed. Odds ratios and their 95\% confidence intervals were computed to determine the level of significance. RESULTS: Of the 464 study samples, 440 children with their caregivers were included in the final analysis. A total of 78.6\% of the caregivers reported that their children were adherent to antiretroviral therapy in the month prior to the interview. Caregivers' knowledge about antiretroviral treatment [AOR = 2.72(95\% CI: 1.82, 5.39)], no current substance use of the caregivers [Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) = 2.21(95\% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.34, 7.13)], proximity to the health care facility [AOR = 2.31(95\% CI: 1.94, 4.63)], if the child knows HIV-positive status [AOR = 3.47(95\% CI: 2.10, 6.81)] and caregiver's educational status [AOR = 0.59(95\% CI: 0.21, 0.82)] were significantly and independently associated with adherence of children to antiretroviral therapy. CONCLUSION: Adherence of antiretroviral therapy in this study was comparable to other studies conducted in developing countries. Caregiver's knowledge about antiretroviral therapy, no current use of substances, close proximity to health facilities, and letting child's know his/her HIV status improves adherence to antiretroviral therapy. Health care providers should educate caregivers about antiretroviral therapy and encourage HIV positive status disclosure to the child.
This article was published in BMC Public Health
and referenced in Journal of Pharmacological Reports