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

Abstract

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.

  • ART, antiretroviral treatment
  • DOT, directly observed therapy
  • DOTS, directly observed therapy, short course
  • TB, tuberculosis
  • antiretroviral treatment
  • directly observed therapy
  • South Africa
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