Comparison of Antiretroviral Therapy Adherence Among HIV-Infected Older Adults with Younger Adults in Africa: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.


Sydney School of Public Health, The University of Sydney, Edward Ford Building (A27), Sydney, NSW, 2006, Australia. [Email]


As access to antiretroviral treatment in low- and middle-income countries improves, the number of older adults (aged ≥ 50 years) living with HIV is increasing. This study compares the adherence to antiretroviral treatment among older adults to that of younger adults living in Africa. We searched PubMed, Medline, Cochrane CENTRAL, CINAHL, Google Scholar and EMBASE for keywords (HIV, ART, compliance, adherence, age, Africa) on publications from 1st Jan 2000 to 1st March 2016. Eligible studies were pooled for meta-analysis using a random-effects model, with the odds ratio as the primary outcome. Twenty studies were included, among them were five randomised trials and five cohort studies. Overall, we pooled data for 148,819 individuals in two groups (older and younger adults) and found no significant difference in adherence between them [odds ratio (OR) 1.01; 95% CI 0.94-1.09]. Subgroup analyses of studies using medication possession ratio and clinician counts to measure adherence revealed higher proportions of older adults were adherent to medication regimens compared with younger adults (OR 1.06; 95% CI 1.02-1.11). Antiretroviral treatment adherence levels among older and younger adults in Africa are comparable. Further research is required to identify specific barriers to adherence in the aging HIV affected population in Africa which will help in development of interventions to improve their clinical outcomes and quality of life.


ART,Adherence,Africa,HIV,Older adults,Systematic review,

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