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Catherine Kangendo - University of Nairobi, Kenya

Amos Gitonga - University of Nairobi, Kenya


The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) have become one of the major health problems in many countries in the world. The disease is widely spread in low and middle income developing countries. The HIV pandemic is one of the most serious health crises the world faces today. Globally, there was an estimated 33 million people living with HIV by the end of 2007 and more than 25 million people since 1981 have died from AIDS. In 2007 there were 2.7 million new infections and 2 million HIV-related deaths. Non-adherence issues have been common especially in sub-Saharan African countries. It is not known why the clients find it hard to reach the recommended near perfect adherence levels of or above 95 per cent and therefore there is need to establish this. If the clients’ issues are not extensively addressed, there might be a possibility of clients in developing viral resistance. The critical factors that influence adherence fall into four main categories: Clients factors such as active drug or alcohol use, age, sex, cultural beliefs and ethnicity; medication for regimen such as dosing complexity, side effects, number of pills, food restrictions; provider-client relationships such as attitudes, beliefs and system of care/service delivery such as long distance travel, inconvenient appointments. The purpose of this study was to establish the factors influencing adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) among youth in Meru county based on a case of Meru Teaching and Referral Hospital (METRH). The target population for this study composed the 12 doctors, 76 nurses and 206 patients living with HIV/AIDS in Meru County. A sample population of 167 was arrived at by calculating the target population of 294 with a 95% confidence level and an error of 0.05. Data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS Version 21.0). Multiple regression analysis was used to establish the relations between the independent and dependent variables. The study sought to establish the client factors influencing adherence to ART antiretroviral therapy) among youth in Meru County. Further the study sought to establish the medication factors influencing adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) among youth in Meru County. The study also sought to establish the provider-client factors influencing adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) among youth in Meru County. Again, the study sought to establish the stigma and discrimination factors influencing adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) among youth in Meru County. The study concluded that client factors had the greatest effect on the Adherence to ART, followed by provider-client factors, then medication factors while stigma and discrimination factors had the least effect to the Adherence to ART and that all the variables were significant. The study recommends that people living with HIV should be encouraged not to continuously use alcohol which disrupts antiretroviral therapy. The study recommends that the manufacturer should focus on the complexity of dosage such that one pill which contains all the requirements can be manufactured in order to reduce the dosing complexity which is highly believed to have discouraged youth from antiretroviral therapy. The study finally recommends that the county government of Meru should organize for a road show to sensitize its residents on the effects and importance of adhering to ART.

Full Length Research (PDF Format)