HIV treatment adherence and unprotected sex practices in people receiving antiretroviral therapy

Kalichman, S.C.; Rompa, D.
February 2003
Sexually Transmitted Infections;Feb2003, Vol. 79 Issue 1, p59
Academic Journal
journal article
Background: Poor HIV treatment adherence can result in the development of drug resistant strains of HIV and HIV positive people may transmit drug resistant virus to their sex partners.Objective: To examine the association between HIV treatment adherence and sexual risk behaviour practices in people living with HIV-AIDS.Methods: Surveys and interviews with 255 men and women living with HIV and receiving antiretroviral therapy.Results: People who were currently taking antiretroviral medications and missed at least one dose of their medications in the past week scored significantly higher on a hopelessness scale and reported more current use of marijuana. People who had been non-adherent also reported significantly more sex partners, greater rates of unprotected vaginal intercourse, and less protected sex behaviours including less protected sex with partners who were HIV negative or of unknown HIV status.Conclusions: Associations between HIV treatment adherence and sexual transmission risk behaviours indicate the need for comprehensive and integrated health behaviour interventions for people living with HIV-AIDS.


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