Correlation between use of antiretroviral adherence devices by HIV-infected youth and plasma HIV RNA and self-reported adherence

AIDS Behav. 2015 Jan;19(1):93-103. doi: 10.1007/s10461-014-0806-z.


Our objective was to investigate antiretroviral adherence device use by HIV-infected youth and assess associations of device use with viral suppression and self-reported adherence. This cross-sectional, multisite, clinic-based study included data from 1,317 HIV-infected individuals 12-24 years of age that were prescribed antiretroviral therapy. Mean adherence in the past 7 days was 86.1 % and 50.5 % had an undetectable HIV RNA. Pillbox was the most commonly endorsed device. No specific device was independently associated with higher odds of 100 % adherence. Paradoxically, having an undetectable HIV RNA was inversely associated with use of adherence devices (OR 0.80; p = 0.04); however, among those with <100 % adherence, higher adherence was associated with use of one or more adherence devices (coefficient = 7.32; p = 0.003). Our data suggest that adolescents who experienced virologic failure often used adherence devices which may not have been sufficiently effective in optimizing adherence. Therefore, other tailored adherence-enhancing methods need to be considered to maximize virologic suppression and decrease drug resistance and HIV transmission.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / administration & dosage*
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence / psychology
  • Medication Adherence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Medication Systems / statistics & numerical data*
  • Reminder Systems / statistics & numerical data*
  • Self Administration
  • Self Report
  • Viral Load


  • Anti-Retroviral Agents