Exploration of factors associated with poor adherence amongst patients receiving antiretroviral therapy at Katutura State Hospital communicable disease clinic in Khomas Region in Namibia
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Background: HIV/AIDS affects the health of millions of people world wide. According to the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS [UNAIDS], the number of people living with HIV globally has risen from 26 million in 2001 to 33.2 million in 2007. It is estimated that 2.5 million people were newly infected with HIV in 2007. The introduction of anti-retroviral therapy [ART] has brought hope to millions of people living with HIV and AIDS. More recently, the increased availability of treatment in many countries including Namibia has dramatically improved survival rates and lowered the incidence of opportunistic infections among HIV patients. Adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) is a fundamental attribute of excellent clinical HIV care and a key aspect in determining the effectiveness of treatment. Strict adherence to ART is vital to maintain low viral load and to prevent the development of drug resistant virus. Poor adherence is one of the key obstacles to successful ART for HIV positive patients. Literature has shown that there are various factors that hinder adherence to ART such as patient, service, community, family, socio-economic and work-related factors. Aim: This study aimed to describe the experiences of patients in the ART programme at Katutura State Hospital, Communicable Disease Clinic (CDC), in the Khomas region of Namibia and to explore factors that contribute to poor adherence.