Adherence to antiretroviral therapy: The more you look, the more you see

Babafemi Taiwo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: There is evolving understanding of adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and the consequences of nonadherence. The present review aims to discuss recent research findings that illuminate lingering clinical questions or contribute to the contextual framework for future research. RECENT FINDINGS: Although some patients can achieve undetectable viral load at moderate adherence levels, studies confirmed that achieving very high adherence optimizes virological and clinical outcomes. In computer modeling, earlier initiation of ART despite suboptimal adherence was associated with improved survival and quality-adjusted life years. Better adherence and virological outcomes occurred when ART was initiated during hospitalization versus outpatient setting, and when depressed patients were treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Differential adherence to individual drugs in an antiretroviral regimen appears to be common. Preliminary data from randomized studies designed to evaluate patient-selected treatment partners showed no clear benefit on long-term viral suppression. SUMMARY: Earlier initiation of ART may be desirable even in some patients with suboptimal adherence. Adherence should be reinforced during periods of viral suppression, maximum adherence should be targeted, and attention paid to differential adherence and treatment of depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)488-492
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in HIV and AIDS
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • Adherence
  • HIV
  • Treatment partners

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Oncology(nursing)
  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Virology
  • Immunology


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