Stock-outs of medications for antiretroviral therapy have been reported as a significant barrier to HIV care in sub-Saharan Africa, but patient responses to these shortages have not been fully described. The aim of our study was to employ qualitative methods to examine the role of medication stock-outs in contributing to treatment interruption among a sample of patients already engaged in care for HIV at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana. We found that medication stock-outs presented a number of challenges to adherence for patients undergoing HIV treatment. Often, patients interrupted treatment until the stock-out ended. Those who did not interrupt treatment during stock-outs coped with shortages by stockpiling old medication or experienced clinic-initiated changes to their treatment regimens. Particularly in areas lacking the resources to monitor viral load or viral genotype, viral resistance could develop due to frequent unstructured treatment interruptions as a result of stock-outs.
- antiretroviral therapy
- medication adherence
- treatment interruption
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing