Determinants of adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy for HIV-infected children: A research synthesis

Nancy R Calles, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has taken HIV-infection from a rapidly terminal illness to one that is a slowly progressive, chronic illness. HIV-infected children can now live long, normal lives. Today, four classes of antiretroviral medications are widely used and several antiretrovirals are available in each class, but resistance and cross-resistance to these medications can occur very quickly if the patient does not adhere to strict medication dosing guidelines. One method to improve pediatric adherence to antiretrovirals is to focus on identified determinants of adherence at clinical visits, but very few studies have been conducted to identify determinants of adherence to antiretrovirals and the best methods to measure adherence in the pediatric population. This research synthesis found adherence factors related to children can be divided into child-identified factors and caregiver-identified factors. Child identified factors include medication-related, demographic-related, cognitive-related, psychosocial-related, and biological marker-related barriers to adherence. Caregiver identified factors include medication-related, cognitive-related, relationship-related, and psychosocial-related barriers to adherence. More randomized clinical trials are needed to identify determinants to adherence, identify methods to best measure adherence, and to identify the best interventions to improve adherence in HIV-infected children and adolescents.

Subject Area

Public health|Epidemiology

Recommended Citation

Calles, Nancy R, "Determinants of adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy for HIV-infected children: A research synthesis" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1447157.