One of the main causes of treatment failure in HIV infected individuals is lack of adherence
to complicated drug regimens. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of
a behavioral intervention program designed to improve adherence to anti-HIV drug regimens.
Participants in this study will be recruited from the University of Alabama at Birmingham
(UAB) Outpatient HIV Clinic.
Poor adherence to complicated antiretroviral (ARV) drug regimens is one of the most pressing
behavioral problems in the clinical management of HIV infected persons. Recent medical
advances have made it possible to maintain tighter control of viral replication, allowing
people with HIV to live longer, healthier lives. However, the complexity of ARV drug
regimens and drug side effects make medication adherence problematic. Deviations from the
prescribed regimen may allow the virus to resume rapid replication and develop drug
resistant mutations that could render the prescribed drugs useless. This study will evaluate
the efficacy of a 6-month, theory-based behavioral intervention to enhance adherence to
antiretroviral treatment regimens. HIV-related attitudes, depressive symptoms, coping
strategies, and social support will also be assessed to examine theoretical assumptions
regarding the causal relationship between psychosocial constructs and medication adherence.
Participants in this study will be recruited from UAB Outpatient HIV Clinic patients who are
taking ARV medication. Participants will be randomized to a Standard Adherence Promotion
Group or an Enhanced Adherence Promotion Group. The Enhanced Adherence Promotion will
systematically address specific psychosocial issues associated with medication adherence.
Participants will be followed for 6 months, and adherence will be evaluated at monthly study
visits. Pill counts, viral loads, self-reported adherence to ARV medication, CD4 count, and
genotypic viral resistance will be assessed.
- HIV infected
- Receiving services at UAB Outpatient HIV Clinic
- Taking antiretroviral medication
- Able to attend monthly assessment meetings at clinic for 6 months
- Passing score on Mini Mental State Examination
Polly Kratt, PhD, MSPH
University of Alabama at Birmingham Outpatient HIV Clinic