In general, the indirect measures used to evaluate adherence to medication treatment are self-reporting, daily record of the medication use, pharmacy dispensing records, and others. This study used the indirect method analyzing the dispensing records to evaluate adherence of 295 patients treated with antiretrovirals in Health Unit of Ribeirão Preto (SP), from January 2009 to December 2011. The level of adherence, i. e., regularity, low irregularity, high irregularity and dropout presented values of 23.7, 26.1, 46.1 and 26.4%, and over the 3 years, the dropouts showed a significant increase, with a recidivism rate ranging from 1 to 6. The correlation studies showed a negative correlation (P<0.05) between age and adherence, more pronounced in women (P<0.01). On the other hand, the changes in therapeutic prescriptions was positively correlated with the abandon (P<0.05). Based on these results, peculiarities of populations’ adherence are useful in the development of actions aiming to improve the assistance.
Key words: Acquired immune deficiency syndrome virus, highly active antiretroviral therapy, medication non-adherence, correlation studies.