Impact of HIV Drug Adherence Programs Evaluated

Analysis suggests implementing current best practice will effectively promote adherence

TUESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In HIV patients treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), the efficacy of interventions promoting adherence to the drug regimen appears linked to how well standard care is delivered, according to a review published in the Feb. 8 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Marijn de Bruin, Ph.D., of Maastricht University in the Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 20 randomized controlled trials of interventions to promote adherence to HAART. They controlled for variations in care delivered to controls to see to what extent interventions could be credited with successful adherence and viral loads.

Although interventions improved the adherence to HAART, resulting in improved viral loads, the degree to which they improved adherence was dependent on the quality of standard care, the investigators discovered. Both control and intervention groups experienced effective care, which accounted for 55 percent points of the estimated impact of optimal adherence care, the researchers found.

"The care provided to active control groups had an impact on effect sizes reported by intervention trials, which suggests that future meta-analyses should control for variability in care provided to active control groups," the authors write. "Finally, the findings suggest that substantial increases in treatment effectiveness could follow from the widespread adoption of current best standard care practice."

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