“Sometimes We Take a Vacation”: Qualitative Study on Barriers to HIV Treatment Adherence Among PLWH in Central America


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In 2012, as part of the USAID-funded Combination Prevention Program, PASMO conducted formative research to explore barriers and strategies people living with HIV (PLWH) use to achieve antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence. The study was conducted in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Panama. Focus groups and life histories were used to identify key moments in the treatment continuum when adherence was compromised and to generate consensus regarding challenges in ART adherence. To document the experience of treatment successes and challenges over time, the sample was segmented on time since diagnosis, using 55 months as a threshold.

This abstract was presented at the 10th International Conference on HIV Treatment and Prevention Adherence.  The results of the study are described in more detail in a chapter titled “Permissions, vacations, and periods of self-regulation: using consumer insight to improve HIV treatment adherence in Central America” in Monitoring and Evaluation in Health and Social Development: Interpretive and Ethnographic Perspectives (ed. P. Aggleton and S. Bell).