Free antiretroviral therapy (ART) has been expanded to all people living with HIV (PLWH) in China since 2016, and adherence to ART has been shown to be the primary determinant of viral suppression. This study aimed to investigate the ART adherence and its associated factors among PLWH in China in the context of a scaling-up of treatment policy.
A prospective cohort study was conducted from June 2016 to May 2018 in Guangzhou, China. A total of 400 eligible participants were recruited from the Guangzhou Eighth People’s hospital in Guangzhou, China. The Theory of Planned Behavior and the Behavioral Maintenance Theory were applied to guide the questionnaire design. Participants were invited to completed self-administered questionnaire at baseline and months 3 and 6 post-baseline. Logistic regression models were fitted to explore factors associated with ART adherence.
Of the 400 participants, the prevalence of optimal ART adherence was 83.6% at month 3 and 83.3% at month 6. The baseline attitude (ORa = 1.11, P < 0.05), behavioral intention (ORa = 1.90, P < 0.05), and outcome expectations (ORa = 1.09, P < 0.001) predicted ART adherence at month 3 in adjusted analyses, but only outcome expectations (ORa = 1.09, P < 0.01) remained significant in the final multivariate model. At month 3, negative experiences (ORa = 0.62, P < 0.05) were the only predictor of adherence at month 6.
Approximately 15% of participants reported suboptimal ART adherence. The developments of tailored interventions that target factors such as outcome expectations at baseline and negative experiences during treatment are warranted.