TAS Section

Drug adherence is a key part of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). It refers to the whole process from choosing, starting, managing to maintaining a given therapeutic medication regimen to control HIV viral replication and improve the function of the immune system. Non-adherence is the discontinuity or cessation of part or all of the treatment such as dose missing, underdosing, or overdosing, and drug holidays.1 The significance of adherence to treatment has become recognized, which is important in optimizing the patient's response to therapy. In contrast, non-adherence can lead to treatment failure, a rise in plasma viral load, and the development of drug-resistant HIV strains. This chapter is devoted to a description of a practical drug adherence program, modeled on the protocol developed at the Integrated Treatment Centre, Department of Health.