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HIV/AIDS continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed more than 32 million lives so far. There were approximately 37.9 million people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) at the end of 2018. Anti-retroviral therapy (ART) has significantly reduced morbidity and mortality and improved quality of life among people with HIV infection.
Aims: The study was conducted to improve the knowledge and adherence to anti-retroviral therapy among PLHIV in Enugu state, southeast Nigeria.
Study Design: Interventional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Anti-retroviral Therapy clinics within Enugu metropolis in Enugu state Nigeria between June to December 2018.
Methodology: A health education intervention was carried out among 312 PLHIV receiving ART in Enugu metropolis to improve their perception and adherence to antiretroviral therapy. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data from 312 PLHIV (156 each in the study and control groups), who were selected by multistage sampling. Subsequently, health education was conducted among the study group. Three months after this intervention its effects were assessed through a survey using the same structured questionnaires employed in the baseline survey.
Results: The most frequently occurring reason given by the respondents for poor adherence to ART was forgetfulness (65.4% for study and 69.9% for control groups). Knowledge of the factors and consequences of poor adherence to treatment was significantly higher among the study group than the controls post-interventions p<0.001. Adherence to ART improved from 42.3% pre-intervention to 81.4% post-intervention.
Conclusion: Intensive health education effectively improved adherence to ART among persons living with HIV/AIDS and this should be carried out regularly.
Available:www.who.int/hiv/data Accessed 13/10/19
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