Patients in Nairobi, Kenya getting intensive early adherence counselling when starting antiretroviral therapy were 29% less likely to have poor adherence and 59% less likely to have virological failure compared to those getting no counselling Michael H Chung and colleagues reported in a randomised, controlled trial published in the March issue of PLoS Medicine.
The positive effects of counselling on adherence were seen immediately after starting antiretroviral therapy and maintained throughout the18 month follow-up period. Use of an alarm device had no effect on adherence or virological outcomes. Public health concerns that scale-up of antiretroviral treatment in sub-Saharan Africa would lead to poor adherence and widespread drug resistance have been proven wrong, note the authors.
The authors conclude “as antiretroviral treatment clinics expand to meet an increasing demand for HIV care in sub-Saharan Africa, adherence counselling should be implemented to decrease the development of treatment failure and spread of resistant HIV.”