With the introduction of protease inhibitor based combination therapy people living with HIV have experienced improved treatment and quality of life. Many people have been able to work and lead a full social life. While providing these benefits combination therapy can also make demands on an individual due to their, often complicated, regimens and possible side-effects such as nausea.
Sticking to the dosing schedule isn't easy. Remembering to take several tablets at different times of day, some with food, others without, takes a lot of mental effort and determination, especially when the routine interferes with work or social life. This has meant that some people find it difficult to adhere to their drug schedule, this is important as to get the most benefit from treatment for HIV it is important to take the medicines as your doctor prescribes.
Each time a dose is missed or delayed, the virus has an opportunity to reproduce faster, increasing the chances of mutations that make it resistant to treatment. This relationship between following HIV therapy regimens and the development of resistant HIV has meant that adherence, ie. taking prescribed medicines correctly, has become an important consideration in HIV therapy.
Adherence is also referred to as compliance or concordance.