Health literacy and antiretroviral adherence among HIV-infected adolescents

Patient Educ Couns. 2010 Apr;79(1):25-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2009.07.014. Epub 2009 Aug 8.


Objective: This study investigates HIV positive adolescents' health literacy and whether factors associated with health literacy in HIV-positive adults are associated with health literacy among HIV-positive adolescents.

Methods: Adolescents in this study were behaviorally and perinatally HIV-infected youth (n=186) from five U.S. cities. Participants had a mean age of 20.5, and 49.5% were male.

Results and conclusions: Contrary to findings for adult HIV-positive patients, among adolescents health literacy was not significantly associated with: medication adherence adjusting for age and education level; viral load; or self-efficacy to adhere to medication regimens. The only significant association was of health literacy with medical care received.

Practice implications: Practice implications are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count
  • Child
  • Communication*
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Literacy*
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Young Adult


  • Antiviral Agents