Adherence to HIV Treatment Regimens


The aim of this project is to produce a comprehensive Web-based document on the topic of treatment adherence to antiretroviral therapies with embedded hyperlinks. It is hoped that this living document and its accompanying Web site serve to summarize the relevant adherence literature and provide continuous updates from incoming scientific conference data and published research. An extended goals is to provide an interactive venue to present new theories, models, application and projects related not only to adherence to HIV treatments but behavioral issues concerning health promotion in chronic HIV illness.

In collaboration with the American Public Health Association ,the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) convened expert panels during 1999-2000 to review pertinent literature on two important areas related to HIV and AIDS and to develop and submit recommendations on "Best Practices" in each of the two areas to HRSA.

The first panel addressed HIV medication adherence, explored relevant issues, and developed "Best Practices" recommendations for establishing a practical, effective and comprehensive approach to improving adherence to HIV treatment regimens.


There have been a growing number of abstracts, articles, monographs and presentations on the subject of treatment adherence specifically related to the use of antiretroviral therapy in the management of HIV disease (medication adherence). The term ‘treatment adherence’ refers to the ability of the patient to develop and follow a plan of behavioral and attitudinal change that ultimately serves to empower him/her to improve health and self-manage a given illness. The term ‘medication adherence’ in HIV/AIDS care specifically refers to the ability of the person living with HIV/AIDS to be involved in choosing, starting, managing and maintaining a given therapeutic combination medication regimen to control viral (HIV) replication and improve immune function. The preferential term ‘adherence’ rather than ‘compliance’ has long-standing support given the historical roots of the semantic issues. In a recent significant commentary by Noring et al., it has indeed been proposed that the time for a ‘new’ paradigm for HIV care has come that includes consideration for changing the relevant terminology to “treatment maintenance.” According to the authors, this is more characteristic of the collaborative relationship between a patient as proactive participant and a provider as professional guide. The contributing panelists for the present document do recognize there are currently several excellent resources that aim to provide current and comprehensive information on treatment adherence and patient education.

Click here to read the entire introduction of the report. [PDF format]

Primary Contributors


Document Format Size
Adherence to HIV Treatment Regimens: Recommendations for Best Practices [full report] PDF 1,409 KB
Best Practices Table of Contents PDF 106 KB

Conference Updates

Document Format Size
Barcelona 2002 PDF 370 KB
Paris 2003 PDF 240 KB

Conference Presentations

Document Format Size
Overview - November 9, 2004 PDF 1311 KB
Part Two - November 9, 2004 PDF 300 KB