The Importance of Adherence

Factors Influencing Adherence

Measuring Adherence

HIV Therapy Adherence

Adherence Issues

Coping Strategies
- Keeping to the Treatment Schedule
- The Way Ahead?

Adherence Taskforce



Coping Strategies


Sticking to the prescribed drug regimen (otherwise known as adherence) is very important for people with HIV, because it can prevent or delay the development of drug resistance. Taking the correct dose of medication at the right time every day isn’t easy, especially if you have to take several different drugs at different times of day, with or without certain kinds of foods. Having to take extra tablets for side effects, such as nausea, just makes matters worse.

Missing doses
It is easy to understand why medicines can sometimes be forgotten when work or social activities get in the way. But there may be other reasons:

  • you feel well, and the drugs make you feel ill or give you unpleasant side effects
  • you feel well, and so can’t see the benefit of continuing your medication
  • you feel well, and having to take medicines reminds you of the illness
  • if the drugs make you nauseous, just thinking about taking them brings on the nausea. This is known as conditioned nausea
  • deviating from the treatment schedule - eg. mistiming doses or taking the drug on an empty stomach - gives you a feeling of having control over the illness
  • you have concerns about taking your drugs, because little is known about possible harmful long-term effects
  • you simply forget to take your medication

Keeping to the Treatment Schedule