Psychiatric disorders and adherence to antiretroviral therapy among a population of HIV-infected adults in Nigeria

Olurotimi Adejumo*, Bibilola Oladeji, Onoja Akpa, Kay Malee, Olusegun Baiyewu, Adesola Ogunniyi, Scott Evans, Baiba Berzins, Babafemi Taiwo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Psychiatric disorders are common among people living with HIV in Nigeria. Adherence is necessary to optimise the outcome of antiretroviral therapy. In this study, we aimed to identify associations between antiretroviral adherence, measured by one-week and one-month self-reported missed doses, and psychiatric illness in a cohort previously assessed for psychiatric disorders using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. The study participants comprised 151 adults with major depression, anxiety or suicidal symptoms, and 302 matched-control participants. Two controls were randomly selected for each case within the same gender and education level. We compared participants with psychiatric disorders (WPDs) and no psychiatric disorders (NPDs) on selected demographic and clinical variables, in addition to adherence. Participants with one or more missed doses in the preceding month had twice the odds of having a major depressive episode as those with no missed doses during this period (OR 2.22, 95% CI 1.03, 4.79). This association remained significant after adjusting for selected risk factors. There was no statistically significant difference between WPD and NPD groups on either one-week or one-month adherence, or on age, marital status, occupational class, HIV viral load at enrolment or current CD4 cell count. Among Nigerian adults with HIV, suboptimal antiretroviral adherence is associated with, and could be a sign of, depression. Routine self-report adherence assessments may potentially be utilised in identifying individuals at risk among this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)938-949
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of STD and AIDS
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • AIDS
  • HIV
  • Nigeria
  • adherence
  • antiretroviral therapy
  • psychiatric disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Dermatology


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