"You must take the medications for you and for me": family caregivers promoting HIV medication adherence in China

AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2011 Dec;25(12):735-41. doi: 10.1089/apc.2010.0261. Epub 2011 Apr 15.


China is experiencing a rapid increase in the incidence of HIV infections, which it is addressing proactively with broad implementation of antiretroviral therapy (ART). Within a cultural context extolling familial responsibility, family caregiving may be an important component to promote medication adherence for persons living with HIV in China. Based on 20 qualitative interviews with persons living with HIV and their family caregivers and a cross-sectional survey with 113 adults receiving HIV care at Beijing's Ditan outpatient clinic, this mixed-methods study examines family caregivers' role in promoting adherence to ART. Building upon a conceptual model of adherence, this article explores the role of family members in supporting four key components enhancing adherence (i.e., access, knowledge, motivation, and proximal cue to action). Patients with family caregiving support report superior ART adherence. Also, gender (being female) and less time since ART initiation are significantly related to superior adherence. Since Chinese cultural values emphasize family care, future work on adherence promotion in China will want to consider the systematic incorporation of family members.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-HIV Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-HIV Agents / economics
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Caregivers* / economics
  • China / epidemiology
  • Family*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / economics
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence* / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation


  • Anti-HIV Agents