Date of Award

2001

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Pharmacy

Department

Pharmaceutical Sciences

First Advisor

Cynthia Willey

Abstract

The study of adherence to antiretroviral therapy among HIV positive Injection Drug Users (IDUs) has been largely neglected. Many clinicians believe that this group is too unreliable to take these medications, particularly in the early stage of their recovery from drug abuse when they are vulnerable to relapse. This is the first study of its kind to compare medication adherence rates between HIV positive injection drug users and non-users. The medication adherence among IDUs and non-IDUs was compared in an HIV infected population (n=143) who were currently on antiretroviral therapy. The factors affecting medication adherence were also examined in the same population. Data on demographics, clinical characteristics, mood status, physical functioning and social support was obtained. Medication adherence was measured using the "Temptation to skip antiretroviral medication scale" and "Percent of doses missed in the past week, month and three months". Multiple T-tests conducted on the data revealed that IDUs and non-IDUs had no distinction in medication adherence behavior (p

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