Introduction Socio-cultural factors such as fear of disclosure of HIV status, lack of social support and fear of stigma from family are some of the aspects that prevent ART adherence amongst patients. Moreover, home stability and family support have been linked to better ART adherence. One study has revealed that males who had long-term housing, living with a partner and belonged to an HIV support group had better antiretroviral adherence. The study sought to establish the relationship between social factors and treatment adherence among adherence clubs members.
Methods A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 830 Adherence Club patients in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng. A closed-ended questionnaire was administered and the internal consistency of the scale was assessed by Cronbach’s alpha coefficient. The proposed model was tested using structural equation modelling (AMOS software: ADC, Chicago, IL, USA).
Results Adherence clubs were found to improve treatment adherence among patients. Patients who were in adherence clubs are also receiving more support from their family members or the people they stay with. Perceptions and experiences of stigma and discrimination were found to be generally low among patients attending adherence clubs. These low levels of stigma and discrimination lead to an improvement in the levels of treatment adherence among the club members.
Conclusion Adherence clubs, family support and low stigma and discrimination are key factors to improve treatment adherence for people living with HIV and other non-communicable diseases. Interventions to increase family support and reduction in stigma and discrimination are encouraged.
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