Session: 151. HIV: Care Continuum, Friday, 12:15-1:30 p.m.
While advances in treatment have dramatically improved the lives of people living with HIV (PLHIV), a number of important unmet needs remain. We conducted an international survey of PLHIV to explore their treatment experience and emotional challenges of ART.
Qualitative in-depth interviews were performed with PLHIV to identify key hypotheses. A steering group (led by community members) developed the survey tool which was fielded online from Nov 2016 to Jul 2017 in 8 high-income countries in North America (NA), Europe & Australia. A mixed sampling/recruitment approach was used to ensure a broad cross-section of PLHIV. Respondents were screened for eligibility prior to receiving access to the online survey.
Results : 1111 PLHIV were surveyed (74% male, 41% 35-49 years; 39% from NA). The majority (98%) were currently taking ARTs with 53% taking a single tablet regimen. Of those on treatment, 87% were satisfied with their current ART. Overall, results for NA respondents were similar to the global results. Many participants reported emotional challenges associated with their daily HIV treatment experience: 66% agreed taking ART every day was a reminder of their HIV status; 25% agreed being tied to a daily medication limited their day-to-day life; and 29% agreed they felt stressed and under pressure to take their HIV medication at the right time every day. Those not ‘open’ about their HIV status were more likely to feel stressed by their medication and felt that it limited them. 37% of participants frequently or quite often hid their HIV medication to avoid revealing their HIV status, particularly amongst those who reported experiencing stigma or high emotional impact of HIV. 89% felt that advances in treatment will improve their quality of life. Reducing long-term adverse effects of ART and lowering dosing frequency were considered the most important areas for improvement; this was similar across demographics such as country, age and gender.
Conclusion : In this international survey of PLHIV, despite overall satisfaction with current ART, significant emotional burden and daily impact of treatment persists. PLHIV consider reduction of long-term adverse effects and dosing frequency important areas for improving ART.
Benjamin Young– Senior Global Medical Director, ViiV Healthcare, Durham, NC
Patricia De Los Rios– Global Medical Affairs Director, ViiV Healthcare, Toronto, ON, Canada
Simone Marcotullio– Mr, Nadir Onlus, Rome, Lazio, Italy
Yogesh Punekar– Sr. Director, ViiV Healthcare, Brentford, England, United Kingdom
Justin Koteff– Director, Scientific Communications, ViiV Healthcare., Durham, NC
Andrew Ustianowski– Physician, Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Andrew Murungi– Global Medical Affairs Operations Director, ViiV Healthcare, London, England, United Kingdom