Readiness for Antiretroviral Therapy: Implications for Linking HIV-Infected Individuals to Care and Treatment

  • Brendan Maughan-Brown
  • Philip Smith
  • Caroline Kuo
  • Abigail Harrison
  • Mark N. Lurie
  • Linda-Gail Bekker
  • Omar Galárraga
Original Paper

Abstract

Using survey data collected immediately after referral for ART (N = 87), this study examined ART-readiness among individuals (18 years and older) attending a mobile health clinic in South Africa. Most participants reported being very ready (84%) and motivated (85%) to start ART, but only 72% were assessed as ready for ART on all measures. Treatment readiness was lower among individuals who did not think they would test HIV-positive (aOR 0.26, p < 0.05) and among individuals who reported being in good health (aOR 0.44, p < 0.1). In contrast, higher readiness was associated with better ART knowledge (aOR 4.31, p < 0.05) and knowing someone who had experienced positive health effects from ART (aOR 2.65, p < 0.05). Results indicate that post-test counselling will need to be designed to deal with surprise at HIV diagnosis, and that health messaging needs to be carefully crafted to support uptake of ART among HIV-positive but healthy individuals. Further research is needed on effective post-test counselling approaches and effective framing of health messaging to increase awareness of the multiple positive benefits of early ART initiation and corresponding readiness to engage in treatment.

Keywords

Linkage to care HIV/AIDS Barriers to ART initiation Treatment readiness 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Southern Africa Labour and Development Research UnitUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.The Desmond Tutu HIV CentreUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  3. 3.Department of Behavioral and Social SciencesBrown University School of Public HealthProvidenceUSA
  4. 4.Department of Psychiatry and Mental HealthUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  5. 5.Department of EpidemiologyBrown University School of Public HealthProvidenceUSA
  6. 6.Department of Health Services, Policy & Practice (HSPP)Brown University School of Public HealthProvidenceUSA

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