Knowledge, Attitudes and Practice of Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy (Art) in HIV/aids Adult Patients in Onandjokwe Health District Hospital, Oshikoto Region, Namibia
Adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) is a dominant predictor of survival for individuals living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), because poor adherence may lead to the development of resistance, resulting in increased medical expenses related to HIV care and treatment, disease progression as well as high mortality rate. This study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices of patients infected with HIV towards adherence to ART in Onandjokwe health district of Namibia.
A quantitative research design, descriptive in nature, was applied to include patients on ART for two years or more, a purposive sampling method was used to select 390 study participants. Data were collected from the patient ART booklet and through questionnaires as patients came for their follow up visits, the questionnaire consisted of three sections, namely; section A elicit demographic data; section B dealt with knowledge and section; C covered issues related to attitudes and practices, and EPI info version 3.5.1 was used for data analysis.
The study found out that there is a high level of knowledge on adherence with 93.9%, however, knowledge of specific medications taken by participants was very low with only (0.3%) being able to recall the names of all the medications. The majority (98.2%) of the respondents reported that the medications helped to improve their health and wellbeing. Adherence practice was found to be 84% since none of the participants reported missed a dosage in the past three weeks. However, the adherence level was reported to be below the international and national recommendations; that is, perfect or near-perfect adherence to therapy, defined as an over 95% adherence level.
It is clear that people do not always put what they know into practice; therefore, this study recommends that the knowledge and practice relating to ART adherence be aligned through collaborative efforts by different stakeholders.