Introduction Food insecurity is increasingly reported as an important barrier of patient adherence to antiretroviral therapy(ART) in both resource-poor and rich settings. The objective of this study was to determine if food insecurity is associated with poor ART adherence among HIV-positive adults in a resource-limited setting.
Methods The study was a cross-sectional, conducted in Kinshasa, Democratic republic of Congo(DRC). We randomly selected patients and 9 support structures for PLHIV, from May 2015 to August 2015. Food insecurity was measured by the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS). Adherence was assessed by the pharmacy refill and case adherence index.Multivariate regression was used to assess whether food insecurity was associated with ART adherence.
Results Among 400 participants, 56% were food insecure, 30% were mildly or moderately food insecure and 70% were severely food insecure. Side effects (OR 2.230, 1.327 to 3.747, p=0.002), and payment of consultation (OR 1.703, 1.020 to 2.843, p=0,042) were also associated with poor adherence.
Conclusion household food insecurity is present in more than half of the HIV-positive adults attending ART clinics in Kinshasa, and is associated with poor ART adherence.