Examining the relationship of social support and family cohesion on ART adherence among HIV-positive adolescents in southern Uganda: baseline findings

February 19, 2019
Authors: Christopher Damulira, et al
Organization: Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies

While evidence supports the importance of social support for ART adherence in adults, less is known about the relationship between social support and family cohesion in adolescent adherence.  Using data from a five-year randomized clinical trial in southern Uganda and self reports from 702 clients in 39 clinics, this study measured social support, family cohesion and ART adherence.

The results emphasize the importance of family cohesion and social support from caregivers/family with self-reported adherence to ART among HIV-infected adolescents. Social support from classmates, teachers, and friends were not associated with ART adherence. Study results suggest that strengthening family relationships and promoting social support within families caring for adolescents living with HIV can be crucial in addressing ART adherence challenges among adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa.