Medical mistrust is related to lower longitudinal medication adherence among African-American males with HIV

J Health Psychol. 2016 Jul;21(7):1311-21. doi: 10.1177/1359105314551950. Epub 2014 Oct 7.


African-Americans living with HIV show worse health behaviors (e.g. medication adherence) and outcomes (e.g. viral suppression) than do their White counterparts. In a 6-month longitudinal study, we investigated whether medical mistrust among African-American males with HIV (214 enrolled, 140 with longitudinal data) predicted lower electronically monitored antiretroviral medication adherence. General medical mistrust (e.g. suspicion toward providers), but not racism-related mistrust (e.g. belief that providers treat African-Americans poorly due to race), predicted lower continuous medication adherence over time (b = -.08, standard error = .04, p = .03). Medical mistrust may contribute to poor health outcomes. Intervention efforts that address mistrust may improve adherence among African-Americans with HIV.

Keywords: African-American males; HIV; beliefs; medical mistrust; medication adherence.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Black or African American / psychology*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / ethnology
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Los Angeles
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence / ethnology
  • Medication Adherence / psychology*
  • Medication Adherence / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Racism / ethnology
  • Racism / psychology*
  • Trust / psychology*
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-HIV Agents