Background Adherence to Antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) poses a challenge for an effective Antiretroviral Therapy in Ghana. The introduction of single molecule ARVs regime was seen as an antidote to non-adherence among HIV patients on treatment. This study was conducted among ARVs experienced patients, who were about to be switched onto single molecules, to determine their perception on the new treatment regime.
Methods 1681 HIV positive patients from Suntreso STI/HIV Clinic in Kumasi, who have been on treatment for more than 12 months and consented to participate in this cross sectional study, were interviewed using structured pretexted questionnaire prior to the commencement of the new single molecule ARVs treatment regime. Data was entered and analysed using SPSS version 16.
Results Whereas 60.9% (1023/1681) find the present dose regime cumbersome, 39.1% (657/1681) prefer the multiple dose regime. 42.2% (709) of respondents have some reservations about single dose regime whilst 24.6% (413) prefer it with 33.3%(559) being indifferent. Reasons for the reservation included; ‘Side effect may be too serious’ (48.3%, 342/709), ‘Virus too powerful for a single molecule’ (30.2%, 214/709), ‘Attempts to deprive us of drugs and facilitate our death’ (13.8%, 92/709) and ‘Cost of drugs will be expensive in future for a combine drugs’ (7.7%, 55/709).
Conclusion Although majority of patients find the multiple dose regimes cumbersome, they are sceptical about the use of the single molecule regime. The new regime may result in overdosing if they find it inadequate to provide the needed protection. The fear of serious adverse reaction from combination of ARVs compared with separate drugs, may scare them from taking the treatment. Intensive adherence counselling taking care of the above concerns is essential before patients are switch onto the single molecule ARV regime
- Antiretroviral drugs
- Single Molecule