Relationship of Race-, Sexual Orientation-, and HIV-related Discrimination with Adherence to HIV Treatment: A Pilot Study10/01/2008
Adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) must be close to perfect in order to maintain suppression of HIV viral load, and to prevent the development of drug resistant strains of HIV. People living with HIV (PLWH) often report low levels of adherence. One variable that has been linked to poor adherence is perceived discrimination; however, research has generally not considered the possible unique effects of different types of discrimination on adherence. The present pilot study aimed to examine the association of three types of discrimination (due to HIV+ status, race, or sexual orientation) with adherence among 57 PLWH. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to demonstrate the relationships between each type of discrimination and self-reported adherence. Racial discrimination significantly predicted lower adherence levels, whereas sexual orientation- and HIV-related discrimination did not. Results underscore the importance of addressing discrimination issues, specifically racial, when designing interventions to improve adherence to HAART.