Adherence to antiretrovirals among US women during and after pregnancy

Arlene D. Bardeguez, Jane C. Lindsey, Maureen Shannon, Ruth E. Tuomala, Susan E. Cohn, Elizabeth Smith, Alice Stek, Shelly Buschur, Amanda Cotter, Linda Bettica, Jennifer S. Read

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND:: Antiretrovirals (ARVs) are recommended for maternal health and to reduce HIV-1 mother-to-child transmission, but suboptimal adherence can counteract its benefits. OBJECTIVES:: To describe antepartum and postpartum adherence to ARV regimens and factors associated with adherence. METHODS:: We assessed adherence rates among subjects enrolled in Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group Protocol 1025 from August 2002 to July 2005 on tablet formulations with at least one self-report adherence assessment. Perfectly adherent subjects reported no missed doses 4 days before their study visit. Generalized estimating equations were used to compare antepartum with postpartum adherence rates and to identify factors associated with perfect adherence. RESULTS:: Of 519 eligible subjects, 334/445 (75%) reported perfect adherence during pregnancy. This rate significantly decreased 6, 24, and 48 weeks postpartum [185/284 (65%), 76/118 (64%), and 42/64 (66%), respectively (P < 0.01)]. Pregnant subjects with perfect adherence had lower viral loads. The odds of perfect adherence were significantly higher for women who initiated ARVs during pregnancy (P < 0.01), did not have AIDS (P = 0.02), never missed prenatal vitamins (P < 0.01), never used marijuana (P = 0.05), or felt happy all or most of the time (P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS:: Perfect adherence to ARVs was better antepartum, but overall rates were low. Interventions to improve adherence during pregnancy are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)408-417
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008


  • Adherence
  • Depression
  • HIV-1 infection
  • Pregnancy
  • Substance use
  • Viral suppression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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