MPhil study projects

Factors associated with antiretroviral therapy non-adherence among adults in Ekurhuleni district, Gauteng province, South Africa

Student: Nobesuthu Ramawela

Country: South Africa

Effective management of HIV relies heavily on treatment adherence, as non-adherence can compromise the efficacy of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and impact healthcare outcomes adversely. Utilising quantitative methods, data was collected via questionnaires from 50 participants of whom 50% were aged 36-44, with a gender distribution of 28 females and 22 males. Half of the participants were single and 60% had secondary education.

The results revealed higher non-adherence among 36- to 44-year-olds compared to 18- to 24-year-olds. Gender differences showed that 24% more female than male respondents occasionally missed doses. Almost half of single participants reported non-adherence compared to 20% of married individuals.

A majority of participants received counselling during HIV testing, with 70% diagnosed in the previous 24 months and 74% disclosing their status to partners. A total of 34% experienced side effects, with 53% reporting to clinics and 47% discontinuing treatment.

Factors contributing to non-adherence included long treatment wait times, employment (52% were employed, with 40% reporting non-adherence) and low-income status. Additionally, 60% of participants walked 1 to 5 km to clinics, spending less than R20 on transport per visit.