Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 307–317 | Cite as

Religiosity and Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy Among Patients Attending a Public Hospital-Based HIV/AIDS Clinic in Uganda

  • Rita N. Kisenyi
  • Joshua K. Muliira
  • Elizabeth Ayebare


In Uganda, the prevalence of non-adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) by HIV/AIDS patients remains high and sometimes this is blamed on patients’ religious behavior. A descriptive design was used to examine the relationship between religiosity and ART adherence in a sample of 220 patients attending a HIV/AIDS clinic in a Ugandan public hospital. Participants who self-identified as Pentecostal and Muslim had the highest percentage of members with high religiosity scores and ART adherence. Among Muslim participants (34), 82% reported high religiosity scores and high levels of ART adherence. Of the fifty Pentecostals participants, 96% reported high religiosity scores and 80% reported high levels of ART adherence. Correlation analysis showed a significant relationship between ART adherence and religiosity (r = 0.618, P ≤ 0.01). Therefore, collaboration between religious leaders and HIV/AIDS healthcare providers should be encouraged as one of the strategies for enhancing ART adherence.


Antiretroviral therapy Adherence Religiosity HIV/AIDS patients Uganda 


  1. Adamson, G., Shevlin, M., Lloyd, S. V., & Lewis, A. C. (2000). An integrated approach for assessing reliability and validity: An application of structural equation modeling to the measurement of religiosity. Personality and Individual Differences, 29(5), 971–979.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Altice, F. L., & Friedland, G. H. (1998). The era of adherence to HIV therapy. Annals of Internal Medicine, 129(6), 503–505.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Asiimwe, B. (2006). Prevalence and factors affecting adherence to ART among HIV-positive patients in Rukungiri district of Uganda. Kampala, Uganda: Makerere University, Institute of Public Health.Google Scholar
  4. Asiimwe, D., Kibombo, R., & Neema, S. (2003). Focus group discussion on social cultural factors impacting on HIV/AIDS in Uganda. Kampala, Uganda: Makerere University.Google Scholar
  5. Bangsberg, D. R., Moss, A. R., & Deeks, S. G. (2004). Paradoxes of adherence and drug resistance to HIV antiretroviral therapy. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 53(5), 696–699.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Bartlett, A. J. (2002). Addressing the challenges of adherence. JAIDS, 29(Suppl 1), S2–S10.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Berg, K. M., Demas, P. A., Howard, A. A., Schoenbaum, E. E., Gourevitch, M. N., & Arnsten, J. H. (2006). Gender differences in factors associated with adherence to antiretroviral therapy. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 19(11), 1111–1117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Boerma, J. T., Stanecki, K. A., Newell, M. L., Luo, C., Beusenberg, M., Garnett, G. P., et al. (2006). Monitoring the scale-up of antiretroviral therapy programs: Methods to estimate coverage. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 84(2), 145–150.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Bozzette, S., Joyce, G., McCaffery, D., et al. (2001). Expenditures for the care of HIV infected patients in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy. New England Journal of Medicine, 344(11), 817–823.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Calvarese, M., Bame, S., & Bakamanume, B. (2007). Historical analysis of AIDS patients in Uganda using innovative community clinic service: The AIDS support organization (TASO). Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences, 1(1), 11–16.Google Scholar
  11. Catz, S. L., Gore-Felton, C., & Mcclure, J. B. (2002). Psychological distress among minority low-income women living with HIV. Behavioral Medicine, 28(2), 53–60.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Fairely, C. K., Permana, A., & Read, T. R. H. (2005). Long-term utility of measuring adherence by using self-report compared with pharmacy record in a routine clinic setting. HIV Medicine, 6(5), 366–369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Friedland, G. H., & Williams, A. (1999). Attaining higher goals in HIV treatment: the central importance of adherence. AIDS, 13(Suppl. 1), S61–S72.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Giordano, T. P., Guzman, D., Clark, R., Charlebois, E. D., & Bangsberg, D. R. (2004). Measuring adherence to antiretroviral therapy in a diverse population using a visual analog scale. HIV Clinical Trials, 5(2), 74–79.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Herrmann, S., McKinnon, E., John, M., Hyland, N., Martinez, O. P., Cain, A., et al. (2008). Evidence based multifactor approach to addressing non-adherence to anti-retroviral therapy and improving standard of care. Internal Medicine Journal, 38(1), 8–15.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Koenig, H. G., Larson, D. B., & Larson, S. S. (2001). Religion and coping with serious medical illness. The Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 35(3), 352–359.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Konkle-Parker, D. J., Erlen, J. A., & Dubbert, P. M. (2008). Barriers and facilitators to medication adherence in Southern minority populations with HIV disease. Journal of Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 19(2), 98–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Maisels, L., Steinberg, J., & Tobias, C. (2001). An investigation of why eligible patients do not receive HAART. AIDS Patient Care & STD, 15(4), 185–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Newlin, K., Melkus, G. D., Tappen, R., Chyun, D., & Koenig, H. G. (2008). Relationship between religion and glycemic control in black women with type 2 diabetes. Nursing Research, 57(5), 331–339.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Osterberg, L., & Blaschke, T. (2005). Adherence to medications. The New England Journal of Medicine, 353(5), 487–497.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Pargament, K. I., Smith, B. W., Koenig, H. G., & Perez, L. (1998). Patterns of positive and negative religious coping with major life stressors. Journal of Scientific Study of Religion, 37(4), 710–724.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Park, C. L., Moehl, B., Fenster, J. R., Suresh, D. P., & Bliss, D. (2008). Religiousness and treatment adherence in congestive heart failure patients. Journal of Religion, Spirituality and Aging, 20(4), 249–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Park, J., & Nachman, S. (2010). The link between religion and HAART adherence in pediatric HIV patients. AIDS Care; Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of HIV/AIDS, 22(5), 556–561.Google Scholar
  24. Parsons, S. K., Cruise, P. L., Davenport, W. M., & Jones, V. (2006). Religious beliefs, practices and treatment adherence among individuals with HIV in the Southern United States. AIDS Patient Care and STDs, 20(2), 97–111.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Siegel, K., & Schrimshaw, E. (2002). The perceived benefits of religious and spiritual coping among older adults living with HIV/AIDS. Journal of the Scientific Study of Religion, 41(1), 91–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Spacek, L. A., Shihab, H. M., Kamya, M. R., Mwesigire, D., Ronald, A., Mayanja, H., et al. (2006). Response to anti-retroviral therapy in HIV infected patients attending a public urban clinic in Kampala Uganda. HIV/AIDS, 42(2), 252–259.Google Scholar
  27. Sunil, T. S., & McGhee, M. A. (2007). Social and religious support on treatment adherence among HIV/AIDS patients by race/ethnicity. Journal of HIV/AIDS & Social Service, 6(1), 83–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Talisuna, A. S., Ochen, R., & Eleku, L. (2005). Evaluation of adherence to ARVs at reach out Mbuya. Presentation at the 4th Uganda national AIDS conference, Kampala, Uganda. 21–22 March, 2005.Google Scholar
  29. Tusiime, J. B., Oyugi, J. H., Tumwikirize, W. A., Katabira, E. T., Mugyenyi, P. N., & Bandsberg, D. R. (2005). Adherence to HIV antiretroviral therapy in HIV positive Ugandan patients purchasing therapy. International Journal of STD and AIDS, 16(1), 38–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Uganda Demographic Health Survey (UDHS). (2006a). Published by Ministry of Health Uganda and Uganda Bureau of Statistics.Google Scholar
  31. Uganda Demographic Health Survey (UDHS). (2006b). Uganda Bureau of Statistics, Kampala, Uganda.Google Scholar
  32. Wanyama, J., Castelnuovo, B., Wandera, B., Mwebaze, P., Kambugu, A., Bandsberg, D. R., et al. (2007). Belief in divine healing can be a barrier to antiretroviral therapy adherence in Uganda. AIDS, 21(11), 1486–1487.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Woods, T. E., Antoni, M. H., Ironson, G. H., & Kling, D. W. (1999). Religiosity is associated with affective and immune status in symptomatic HIV infected gay men. Journal of Health Psychology, 4(3), 317–326.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. World Health Organization (WHO). (2006). UN high-level meeting on AIDS: Launch of the 2006 report on the global AIDS epidemic. Retrieved December 4, 2008.
  35. Yi, M. S., Mrus, J. M., Wade, T. J., et al. (2006). Religion, spirituality and depressive symptoms in patients with HIV/AIDS. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 21(Suppl. 5), s21–s27.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Zou, J., Yamanaka, Y., Muze, J., Watt, M., Ostermann, J., & Thielman, N. (2009). Religion and HIV in Tanzania; influence of religious beliefs on HIV stigma, disclosure and treatment attitudes. BMC Public Health, 9, 75. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-9-75.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rita N. Kisenyi
    • 1
  • Joshua K. Muliira
    • 2
  • Elizabeth Ayebare
    • 2
  1. 1.Clinical Nurse, Infectious DiseasesMulago National Referral and Teaching HospitalKampalaUganda
  2. 2.Department of Nursing, College of Health SciencesMakerere UniversityKampalaUganda

Personalised recommendations