Intentional nonadherence occurs when patients deliberately do not take their medications. This phenomenon has not been studied within HIV/AIDS care, a significant omission due to the difficulty of adherence to antiretroviral medications for HIV/AIDS patients and the severe risks associated with nonadherence. The purpose of this study was to explore, using HIV-positive women’s own recollections collected in diary format, how and why women living with HIV/AIDS intentionally fail to adhere to their antiretroviral medications. We examined the journal entries of 20 HIV-positive women written during a 1-month period. Although three participants wrote about their intentional nonadherence, the journal entries of only one woman are presented in detail. This woman’s story highlights the complex reasons for intentional nonadherence and the social/emotional ramifications of such nonadherence. Results suggest that intentional nonadherence is emotionally trying for patients and that patients’ adherence decisions are continually renegotiated, underscoring the need for routine provider–patient adherence communication.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding for the data collection was provided by a grant to the second author from the State of California Universitywide AIDS Research Program to the UCLA AIDS Clinical Care Center (CC97-LA-175). The authors were supported by NIMH grant MH19127 to Oscar Grusky during some phases of the project.
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