AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 46–52 | Cite as

Gender Differences in Medication Management Capacity in HIV Infection: The Role of Health Literacy and Numeracy

  • Drenna Waldrop-Valverde
  • Deborah L. Jones
  • Dushyantha Jayaweera
  • Peggy Gonzalez
  • Javier Romero
  • Raymond L. Ownby
Original Paper


Health literacy is emerging as a key element for successful medication management and empirical support for the efficacy of numeracy in the health context is rising as well. Little is known, however, about their unique effects among women and men. Given the importance of accurate medication management for effective treatment of HIV, the relation of these variables to medication management needs to be assessed. We therefore tested the relation of health literacy (reading comprehension) and numeracy to one’s ability to manage a “mock” HIV regimen and whether men and women differed in these abilities. Results showed that women were less able than men to follow medication instructions and answer questions about the mock regimen. Numeracy mediated the relationship between gender and medication management. These findings highlight skills used in managing medication regimens and suggest avenues to target for identification and intervention in medication management among women and men with HIV.


Medication management Health literacy Numeracy Gender 



The authors would like to thank Michael Stirratt for his thoughtful review and helpful suggestions in the preparation of this manuscript. We would also like to thank Jesline Jean-Simon for her invaluable recruitment skills. This study was supported by funding from the National Institute of Mental Health grant number MH74664 to the lead author, D. Waldrop-Valverde.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Drenna Waldrop-Valverde
    • 1
  • Deborah L. Jones
    • 1
  • Dushyantha Jayaweera
    • 2
  • Peggy Gonzalez
    • 1
  • Javier Romero
    • 3
  • Raymond L. Ownby
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Miller School of MedicineUniversity of MiamiMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medicine, Miller School of MedicineUniversity of MiamiMiamiUSA
  3. 3.Miami-Dade County Health Department, Office of HIV/AIDSMiamiUSA

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