Background Rwanda provides free HIV treatment to all HIV positive person. Adolescents and youth have poorer treatment adherence and experience higher treatment failure than adults. This study aimed at exploring the barriers to adherence among adolescents and youth in two district hospitals in rural Rwanda.
Methods Adolescents and youth within the age of 10 to 24 years who have been on HIV treatment for at least one year in the two hospitals and their appointment adherence were identified through electronic medical records. Questionnaires were completed by consented participants or their parents and were used to measure treatment adherence in the previous 30 days and in the previous 3 days. In-depth interviews were also conducted to explore the factors associated with poor adherence and outcomes.
Results Among the 139 adolescents enrolled for treatment, 58% had good appointment keeping. Out of the 72 questionnaires completed, 87% reported adhering to at least 95% of treatment in the previous 30 days and 47% reported poor adherence in the previous 3 days. Reported factors causing poor adherence included poverty, stigma, and lack of parents.
Conclusion The level of adherence to HIV treatment was low among adolescents and youth in rural Rwanda. Creation of projects that can improve social economic status to Adolescent who are on HIV treatment as well as provision of family care to orphanage HIV adolescent patients would improve their treatment adherence.
Disclosure No significant relationships.
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