Anti-retro viral therapy (ART) is a lifelong treatment and its effectiveness depends critically both on the efficacy of the antiretroviral drugs against the virus and achieving a very high level of adherence (> 95%) to the medications. This study evaluated the relationship between medication beliefs, locus of control and adherence to ART among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in Lagos. A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted on 302 HIV/AIDS clients receiving Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy in the outpatient ART clinics of the 3 selected public health facilities in Lagos State. Only respondents confirmed and diagnosed to be HIV positive and had met the eligibility criteria for initiating ART, and were 18 years and above on Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART) for not less than a year. A total of 302 HIV positive persons on HAART completed the study. They were mostly females (n=202; 66.9%) with a mean age of 39 ± 10 years. About a third (30%; n=90) of respondents were adjudged non-adherent. Those who were adjudged adherent were significantly younger than the non-adherents (P=0.001). However, there was no significant difference in the mean score for medication beliefs (Concern or Necessity) and locus of control (Internal, Powerful Others or Chance) between those who were adjudged adherent or non-adherent. There was no direct relationship observed between the locus of control, medication beliefs and adherence to medication among patients on HAART in Lagos, Nigeria. Interventions targeting these socio-cognitive parameters may not yield a further increase in adherence.
Key words: Locus of control, medication belief, adherence, highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART), HIV/AIDS.
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