Antiretroviral therapy non-adherence among children living with HIV in Ethiopia
Melkamu Merid Mengesha, Assistant Professor at Arba Minch University in Ethiopia, is a prospective doctoral student in the research group Child and Family Health. On November 10, his article on Antiretroviral therapy non-adherence among children living with HIV in Ethiopia, was published.
You got an article published recently, congratulations! How does it feel?
Publishing research work is a long process. But when it is successful, the feeling is great when the findings reach the scientific community for further exploration and to policymakers who can design and implement evidence-based actions.
Can you explain the overall aim and result of the study?
As access to highly effective antiretroviral therapy (ART) improved, children with HIV began to live longer. However, there is a problem with ART compliance. The goal of our study was to determine the risk factors that significantly contribute to children's (6–17-year-old) failure to achieve the recommended level of adherence for sustained viral load suppression. The results demonstrated that a rise in children's non-adherence to ART was related to substance use by caregivers, the first-line ART regimen type used, and an increase in viral load count from baseline. Children between the ages of 10 and 14 years and those who knew they had HIV were less likely to be non-adherent to ART.
Why is this research important?
To help strengthen adherence to ART and to prevent or reduce non-adherence, our study identified risk variables for non-adherence. Furthermore, the findings of this study tie to my planned Ph.D. project that aims to combat HIV-related stigma and improve clinical outcomes. Stigma is often cited as a barrier to the disclosure of HIV status and adherence to ART.
Link to article (the link leads to the journal's website)
Authors: Melkamu Merid Mengesha, Mulugeta Embibel, Tesfaye Gobena, Abayneh Tunje, Degu Jerene and Inger Kristensson Hallström.