How Presentation of Drug Detection Results Changed Reports of Product Adherence in South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe

AIDS Behav. 2018 Mar;22(3):877-886. doi: 10.1007/s10461-017-1685-x.


Accurate estimates of study product use are critical to understanding and addressing adherence challenges in HIV prevention trials. The VOICE trial exposed a significant gap between self-reported adherence and drug detection. The VOICE-D qualitative study was designed to better understand non-adherence during VOICE, and was conducted in 2 stages: before (stage 1) and after (stage 2) drug detection results were provided to participants. Transcripts from 44 women who participated in both stages were analysed to understand the effect of presenting drug detection data on narratives of product use. Thirty-six women reported high adherence in stage 1, yet admitted non-use in stage 2, three reported high adherence in both stages (contrary to their drug detection results) and five had consistent responses across both stages and drug results. Presenting objective measures of use may facilitate more accurate product use reporting and should be evaluated in future prevention trials.

Keywords: Adherence measures; Drug detection results; HIV prevention; Microbicides; Pre-exposure prophylaxis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Medication Adherence*
  • Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Self Report
  • South Africa / epidemiology
  • Uganda / epidemiology
  • Zimbabwe / epidemiology


  • Anti-HIV Agents