A qualitative study of persons who are 100% adherent to antiretroviral therapy

 This qualitative study examined the medication-taking behaviors and attitudes of participants determined to be 100% adherers to antiretroviral therapy from a NIH-funded study testing a 12-week telephone adherence intervention. Using open-ended questions, interviewers collected data on a sample of 13 informants, whose medication adherence to a randomly selected antiretroviral medication was 100%, based on a 30-day data collection using electronic event monitoring (EEM). The analysis revealed 'successful medication management' as the core category or main theme. The participants achieved success with medication adherence through managing specific areas (regimen, self and environment). By adopting realistic expectations and pragmatic attitudes, adherence is fostered when medication taking is a priority, when patients believe in the efficacy of their medications and when there is a strong patient/provider relationship. Future research is needed to develop tailored interventions using strategies identified by this population. Further in-depth examination of medication-taking behaviors in 100% adherers may be useful in developing individualized programs to maximize adherence to antiretroviral therapy in the clinical setting.