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Poor Adherence Is Tied to Fear of Meds

Poor Adherence Is Tied to Fear of Meds


Concerns about the adverse side effects of antiretroviral drugs and an underestimation of the need to consistently take anti-HIV medications are factors strongly linked with low levels of adherence and poor response to treatment, according to a study presented in April at the 11th Annual Conference of the British HIV Association. Researchers surveyed 153 HIV patients attending an HIV clinic in Brighton, England, and discovered that 'patients' perceptions of need and concerns about [highly active antiretroviral therapy] derived from their interpretation of symptoms and personal beliefs about HIV that may conflict with the medical view.' Concerns about anti-HIV drugs, including side effects, toxicity, and drug-related depression or anxiety, were linked with lower adherence. Patients doing well on therapy, as measured through improved CD4-cell counts or falling viral levels, were the most likely to stick to their regimens.

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