Characteristics of HIV patients referred to a medication adherence program in Switzerland

Int J Clin Pharm. 2012 Jun;34(3):426-31. doi: 10.1007/s11096-012-9638-y. Epub 2012 Apr 24.


Background: Since August 2004, HIV patients who encounter -or are at risk of -problems with their antiretroviral treatment (ART) are referred by their physician to a medication adherence program at the community pharmacy of the Department of Ambulatory Care and Community Medicine in Lausanne (Switzerland). The program combines motivational interviewing and electronic drug monitoring.

Objective: To compare the demographic and clinical characteristics as well as ART of HIV patients referred to the adherence program versus those of the entire HIV population followed in the same infection disease department in the same time frame.

Method: Retrospective descriptive cross-sectional study. Study time frame was defined according to the period with the highest number of HIV patients visiting the adherence program.

Results: Subjects included in the adherence program had more often a protease inhibitor-based regimen (64 %; 95 % CI [52-75 %] vs. 37 %) and lower CD4 cell counts (419 (252.0, 521.0); 95 % CI [305-472] vs. 500 (351.0, 720.0)) than the entire HIV population. A majority of women were included in the adherence program (66 %; 95 % CI [54-76 %] vs. 39% in the entire HIV population).

Conclusion: Subjects referred to the adherence program were different from the entire HIV population and showed worse clinical outcomes and were more often under salvage therapy. More women than men were included. Reasons for such a difference need to be further explored.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / economics
  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Community Pharmacy Services* / standards
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / economics
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence*
  • Middle Aged
  • Referral and Consultation* / standards
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Switzerland / epidemiology


  • Anti-Retroviral Agents