Barriers to antiretroviral medication adherence in HIV-infected women

Kathleen Johnston Roberts, T. Mann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


Little is known about the barriers which women living with HIV/AIDS encounter that impede their adherence to antiretroviral medication regimens. Yet in order to design effective interventions to improve women's adherence, it is first imperative to identify the factors that contribute to their non-adherence. The purpose of this study was to explore, from HIV-infected women's own perspectives, the barriers they faced in adhering to combination antiretroviral therapies. Twenty HIV-infected women were asked to keep a personal journal for a period of one month. In the journals, women wrote about what their lives were like while taking antiretroviral medications. Line-by-line open coding was done to identify major ideas and themes within the journal entries. Results showed that women faced six main barriers to adherence, those related to: (1) medication regimens, (2) side effects, (3) social relationships, (4) medication beliefs, (5) daily schedules, and (6) body weight. The findings underscore the difficult nature of the antiretroviral regimens and illuminate the daily obstacles women face in adhering to therapy. Interventions that target women's unique barriers are needed to improve adherence to antiretroviral medication regimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-386
Number of pages10
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for the data coectlionlwas provided by a grtato thne second author from the State of California Universitywide AIDS ReseachrPogarmrto the UCLA AIDS Cliicnal Care Center (CC97-LA-175). The authors were supported by NIMH gntrMHa1279to Os1car Grusky during some phases of the project. The authors would liekto thank Barbara Bedney, Ike Grusky, Jenny Guembes-Co, EricoakFlores, Henry Chang and Ruben Vidaes.lWe also thank the women who pcaipaterd intthie study for shigantherir livs witeh us.


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