A study of factors in the treatment support system that contribute to successful haart adherence at Tshepang Clinic
Thesis (MFamMed)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.
ENGLISH SUMMARY : Background: HIV/AIDS is a chronic disease for which no cure has been found yet. The only effective way to give a better life to the infected patients is to suppress their viral loads. The Highly Active Antiretroviral Treatment (HAART) is what we have so far in hand to achieve that goal. Adherence is crucial in managing our patients. In South-Africa, Tshepang clinic is one of the facilities which offer HAART. Objectives: The aim of the study was to understand the relationship between patients adherent to HAART and their buddies in achieving successful adherence at Tshepang clinic. The objectives were to explore the views of adherent patients on ARVs about the role of their buddy and to describe the views of buddies of patients who are adherent to ARVs on their role as treatment supporters. Methods: A qualitative study using focus group was the method of data collection. The discussions were conducted both in English and in local languages. The discussions were audio and video recorded. 22 participants divided in 2 groups of patients adherent to HAART and 2 groups of their buddies were selected. Results: All respondents were aware that the buddy’s fundamental knowledge on HIV topics was important in improving adherence. The buddy should be aware of the expected benefits of HAART. Disclosure of the HIV status was a key element in the management of HIV/AIDS despite the barriers and the buddy was expected to assist the patient in that regard. The buddy should be trustworthy and capable of complying with the need for confidentiality. Mutual respect and good communication between the buddy and the patient were to be encouraged. A buddy is expected to take the patient through the process of acceptance of the HIV status even in cases where the patient has started HAART but is still in denial. The mindset of the buddy and the patient is the foundation on which every strategy should be built. Buddies of patients with other co-morbidities should be allowed to collect medications on their behalf. The buddies should take an interest in the life style and behaviors of patients. Conclusion: The 13 themes generated from the respondents were well known in our health facility but they have not been addressed deeply. The findings of this study can be applied at Tshepang clinic in order to help achieving the goals of the antiretroviral therapy.
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