Background: An antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence of at least 95% has been proven necessary in order for treatment to be effective. The HIV prevalence in Burundi is 1.3% of the general population, 21.3% among sex workers and a 4.8% among MSM and 10,2% among People Who Inject Drugs(PWID). Additionally, Burundi experiences extremely high adherence with survival rates among people with HIV on ART among the best in Africa: 91.2% at 12 months, 87.4% at 24 months and 83.9% at 36 months of treatment. However, the adherence to ART among PWID is 33,3% at 12 months according to our study findings in Drop in center.
Methodology: A qualitative exploratory study: Eighteen PWID were recruited for interviews. three focus group discussions with PWID on ART.
Results: According to our study, the adherence to ART among PWID is 33,3%. Additionally, Factors that were shown to impede ART adherence include the lack of Opioid therapy, stigma, forgetfulness, inadequate training of medical staff for treating HIV infected drug users. lack of food, Discrimination, lack of financial resources, lack of transport fees to attain the clinic, lack of medical insurance. We also found Factors that enhance ART adherence included acceptance of HIV status, desire to be healthy and live longer, social support, treatment efficacy and adequate drug supply, home visit, provision of NSP to PWID.
Conclusion: The adherence among PWID on treatment can be improved through appropriate interventions and strategies.
Recommendations: The Ministry of Health should strengthen stigma reduction to promote social support to PWID. The Ministry should also integrate Opioid substance therapy (OST) and Needle Syringe Exchange program in national policy. capacity building of medical staff on HIV and harm reduction, increase support to the drop-in center (nutrition, medicine and equipment support).
Key words: Adherence, factors, ART, PWID, Burundi.
Jeunesse au Clair Médical, Drop in Center Bujumbura, Avenue de l’Imprimerie No6 Bujumbura-Burundi, 2017
Author: NIZIGIYIMANA Alexis, MD.