Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X
BONOLO, Palmira de Fátima et al. Vulnerability and non-adherence to antiretroviral therapy among HIV patients, Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2008, vol.24, n.11, pp.2603-2613. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2008001100015.
The aim of the present study was to describe vulnerability profiles and to verify their association with non-adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) among 295 HIV-patients receiving their first prescription in two public-referral centers in Minas Gerais States, Brazil. The cumulative incidence of non-adherence was 36.9%. Three pure vulnerability profiles (lower, medium and higher) were identified based on the Grade of Membership method (GoM). Pure type patients of the "higher vulnerability" profile had, when compared to the overall sample, an increased probability of being younger, not understanding the need of ART, having a personal reason to be HIV-tested, not disclosing their HIV status, having more than one (non-regular) sexual partner, reporting use of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs, and having sex among men. Non-adherence to ART was statistically associated (p < 0.001) with this profile. Also, the heterogeneity of the sample was found to be high, since over 40% were mixed type. The implications are that health staff should be trained to develop strategies for incorporating risk-reduction interventions, bearing in mind the three dimensions of vulnerability and the diversity of those patients initiating antiretroviral therapy.
Keywords : HIV; Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy; Vulnerability.