The introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy marked a major gain in efficacy of HIV/AIDS treatment and a reduction in morbidity and mortality of the infected patients. However, high levels of adherence are required to obtain virologic suppression. In Brazil, the policy of free and universal access to antiretroviral therapy has been in place since 1996, although there are reports of poor adherence. Objective To define the clinical, demographic and psychological characteristics, and quality of life of patients with HIV/AIDS who present poor adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy. Methods This was a cross-sectional study. To be included in the study patients had to be 18 through 65 years old, diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, having the two previous viral loads above 500 copies, a surrogate for poor adherence to antiretrovirals. The following instruments were applied to all eligible patients: the sociodemographic questionnaire “Adherence Follow-up Questionnaire”, the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), and the 36-Item Short Form Survey. Results 47 patients were evaluated, 70.2% were female, mean age of 41.9 years (±10.5), 46.8% were single, 51.1% self-reported adherence ≥95%, 46.8% mentioned depression as the main reason for not taking the medication, 59.5% presented symptoms of moderate to severe depression, and 44.7% presented symptoms of moderate to severe anxiety. Finally, regarding health-related quality of life these patients obtained low scores in all dimensions, physical component summary of 43.96 (±9.64) and mental component summary of 33.19 (±13.35). Conclusion The psychological component is considered to be fundamental in the management of HIV/AIDS patients. Psychoeducation should be conducted at the initial evaluation to reduce negative beliefs regarding antiretroviral therapy Assessment of anxiety and depression symptoms should be done throughout therapy as both psycological conditions are associated with patient adherence, success of treatment, and ultimately with patients’ quality of life.
Betancur, M. N., Lins, L., Oliveira, I. R. de, & Brites, C. (2017). Quality of life, anxiety and depression in patients with HIV/AIDS who present poor adherence to antiretroviral therapy: a cross-sectional study in Salvador, Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases, 21(5), 507–514. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bjid.2017.04.004