Biomarker-confirmed suboptimal adherence to isoniazid preventive therapy among children with HIV in western Kenya

AIDS. 2024 Jan 1;38(1):39-47. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000003719. Epub 2023 Sep 28.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to assess the level and correlates of biomarker-confirmed adherence to isoniazid (INH) preventive therapy (IPT) among children with HIV (CLHIV).

Design: This prospective cohort study assessed adherence among CLHIV on IPT in public sector HIV clinics from 2019 through 2020.

Methods: Adherence was assessed by pill counts or caregiver or self-reports, and urine biomarkers (in-house dipstick and Isoscreen). Both urine biomarker tests detect INH metabolites within 48 h of ingestion. Consistent adherence was defined as having positive results on either biomarker at all visits. Correlates of biomarker-confirmed nonadherence at each visit were evaluated using generalized estimating equations. The in-house dipstick was validated using Isoscreen as the reference.

Results: Among 97 CLHIV on IPT with adherence assessments, median age was 10 years (IQR 7-13). All were on ART at IPT initiation (median duration 46 months [IQR 4-89]); 81% were virally suppressed (<1000 copies/ml). At all visits, 59% ( n = 57) of CLHIV reported taking at least 80% of their doses, while 39% ( n = 38) had biomarker-confirmed adherence. Viral nonsuppression (adjusted risk ratio [aRR] = 1.65; 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.09-2.49) and the sixth month of IPT use (aRR = 2.49; 95% CI 1.34-4.65) were independent correlates of biomarker-confirmed nonadherence at each visit. Sensitivity and specificity of the in-house dipstick were 98.1% ( 94.7 - 99.6%) and 94.7% ( 88.1 - 98.3%) , respectively, versus Isoscreen.

Conclusion: Biomarker-confirmed adherence to IPT was sub-optimal and was associated with viral nonsuppression and duration of IPT. Urine dipstick testing may be useful in assessing adherence to IPT in clinical care.

MeSH terms

  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers
  • Child
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Isoniazid / therapeutic use
  • Kenya
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tuberculosis* / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis* / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis* / prevention & control


  • Isoniazid
  • Antitubercular Agents
  • Biomarkers