Barriers to and facilitators of adherence to antiretroviral therapy among people living with HIV in Lao PDR: a qualitative study Academic Article uri icon


  • Adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) is essential to its effectiveness and avoidance of the development of drug-resistant HIV strains. Many studies have been undertaken on factors affecting adherence to ART; however, there is little information about Laos. Hence, this qualitative study examines barriers to and facilitators of adherence specific to this context. In-depth interviews and focus group discussions were undertaken with 43 people living with HIV (PLHIV) currently on ART across 2 hospitals in Laos: Setthathirath hospital in the capital Vientiane and Savannakhet Province hospital. Interviews were based on semistructured question guides and were undertaken in Lao, translated into English and audio-recorded for later analysis. Major barriers to adherence reported by participants included transport costs, distance to the hospital, and stigma and discrimination. Key facilitators discussed were the perceived benefits of medication, social support, and the acceptance of HIV status.

publication date

  • 2015