HIV and Aids - Adherence Support

Drug Adherence plays a fundamental role in highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Adherence refers to the whole process from starting, managing and maintaining a prescribed regiment to control viral replication and improve the function of the immune system. Non-adherence is defined as discontinuity or cessation of part or all of the treatment such as dose missing, under dosing, or overdosing, and drug holidays.

The significance of adherence to treatment has become recognised as a vital part of the successful management of HIV and the patient response to therapy. Non-adherence can lead to treatment failure, high viral load and drug resistant HIV strains and risk of contracting opportunistic infections.
The National Department of Health as part of the National Antiretroviral Treatment Guidelines have recognised that adherence is a strategy and outlines guidelines on implementation by Health Care workers.

Zoë-Life’s Role

In 2009 Zoë-Life was contracted by the Provincial Department of Health to develop a training programme on adherence support.  2100 lay counsellors throughout the KwaZulu Natal province were trained and mentored to implement adherence, as a strategy, for their patients.