By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com May 21 2003 12:00 AM ET
Researchers at the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies at the University of California, San Francisco, report in the journal AIDS Patient Care and STDs that successful long-term treatment of HIV infection with antiretroviral drugs requires at least 95% adherence to the drug regimen. Less strict adherence can lead to the development of drug-resistant virus and the eventual failure of the drug cocktail. The researchers also say lowered adherence is most often due to a combination of failures by both the patient in sticking to the regimen and health care providers in detailing the need to take every medication dose on time as prescribed. Specific barriers to adherence include lifestyle factors unique to each patient, regimen complexity, common adverse side effects resulting in poor tolerance, and poor patient-provider relationships.