Anxiety and depression symptoms as risk factors for non-adherence to antiretroviral therapy in Brazil

AIDS Behav. 2010 Apr;14(2):289-99. doi: 10.1007/s10461-008-9435-8. Epub 2008 Jul 22.


Depression and anxiety are common among HIV-infected people and rank among the strongest predictors of non-adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART). This longitudinal study aimed to assess whether symptoms of anxiety and depression are predictors of non-adherence among patients initiating ART at two public referral centers (n = 293) in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Prevalence of severe anxiety and depression symptoms before starting ART was 12.6% and 5.8%, respectively. Severe anxiety was a predictor of non-adherence to ART during follow-up period (RH = 1.87; 95% CI = 1.14-3.06) adjusted for low education, unemployment, alcohol use in the last month and symptoms of AIDS; while a history of injection drug use had borderline statistical significance with non-adherence. These findings suggest that using a brief screening procedure to assess anxiety and depression symptoms before initiating ART help identify individuals for interventions to improve adherence and quality of life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-HIV Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use
  • Anxiety / drug therapy
  • Anxiety / physiopathology*
  • Brazil
  • Cohort Studies
  • Depression / drug therapy
  • Depression / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • HIV-1
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Risk Factors


  • Anti-HIV Agents