Correlates of adherence to combination antiretroviral therapy among members of HIV-positive mixed status couples

AIDS Care. 2002 Feb;14(1):105-9. doi: 10.1080/09540120220097973.


This exploratory study assessed medication adherence and its correlates in HIV-positive members of HIV mixed status couples. Forty couples were interviewed; the HIV-positive participants consisted of 19 gay men, 14 heterosexual men and seven heterosexual women. Mean self-reported adherence (over the past three days) for the whole sample was 95%; the mean adherence rate for gay men (99%) was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than that of heterosexual men (94%) and heterosexual women (87%) based on a ranked transformation of the adherence score. In analyses involving measures rated by the HIV-positive partner, higher adherence was associated with more years of education, greater perceived treatment efficacy, stronger belief that combination therapy is a significant advancement in treatment, and greater knowledge of HIV treatments and consequences of poor adherence. Higher adherence was associated with the HIV-negative partner attributing less risk to unprotected anal/vaginal sex within the couple, while lower adherence was associated with a greater likelihood that the couple engaged in unprotected anal/vaginal sex in the last two months. A larger sample is needed to substantiate these findings.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active / psychology*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Seropositivity / drug therapy
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Heterosexuality / psychology*
  • Homosexuality / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance / psychology
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data*
  • Self Disclosure