Sex Transm Infect 83:383-386 doi:10.1136/sti.2007.025585
  • HIV

Attitudes to directly observed antiretroviral treatment in a workplace HIV care programme in South Africa

  1. Liesl S Page-Shipp1,
  2. Salome Charalambous2,
  3. Surita Roux2,
  4. Belinda Dias3,
  5. Clement Sefuti2,
  6. Gavin J Churchyard4,
  7. Alison D Grant5
  1. 1Anglogold Health Service, South Africa
  2. 2Aurum Institute for Health Research, Klerksdorp, South Africa
  3. 3CSIR Natural Resources and the Environment Mining, South Africa
  4. 4Aurum Institute for Health Research, Johannesburg, Collaborative AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa
  5. 5London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, South Africa
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Liesl Page-Shipp
 Aragon Consulting, PO Box 412126, Craighall, South Africa, 2024; liesl{at}
  • Accepted 4 June 2007
  • Published Online First 13 June 2007


Objective: To investigate attitudes to directly observed antiretroviral therapy (DOT ART) among HIV infected adults attending a workplace HIV care programme in South Africa.

Methods: Clients attending workplace HIV clinics in two regions were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire.

Results: 100 individuals (99% male, mean age 40.2 years) participated, 61% were already taking ART by self administration. 71% had previous tuberculosis (TB) with the majority having received DOT for TB. 65% of individuals indicated that they would not like to receive ART by DOT—the main reason given was a desire to take responsibility for their own treatment. This contrasted with 79% who thought TB treatment by DOT a good idea. On questioning about disclosure, 70% reported disclosure to their sexual partners and 21% to fellow workers. 78% of individuals indicated willingness to support someone else taking ART.

Conclusion: ART by DOT was not an immediately popular concept with our patients, primarily because of a desire to retain responsibility for their own treatment. More work is needed to understand what key elements of treatment support are needed to promote adherence.