A comparison of medication adherence and viral suppression in antiretroviral treatment-naïve patients with HIV/AIDS depending on the drug formulary

Kyung Sun Oh, Euna Han

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Antiretroviral treatment (ART) adherence is highlighted in management of patients living with human immunodeficiency virus. In South Korea, ART medication research has rarely been conducted due to the low economic burden associated with government-funded treatment. This cross-sectional study aimed to compare the pill burden impact between ART regimen compliance and HIV-RNA viral load suppression. Data were collected from 2008 to 2016 at a general hospital in South Korea. A total of 210 HIV/AIDS treatment-naïve patients were grouped as follows: single-tablet regimen (STR, one tablet/day), mild pill burden (two-four tablets/day), and heavy pill burden (> five tablets/day). Patients were analyzed according to gender, age at index date, medical insurance type, comorbidities, depression, HIV/AIDS disease burden as indicated by HIV-RNA viral load and CD4, and laboratory variables. In a multivariate logistic regression model, the STR group demonstrated adherence 5.10 times more often than the heavy pill burden group. Females and patients with an initial viral load of 500,000 or more were 0.090- and 0.040-fold less adherent to the ART regimen. Among these patients, 95% or more of the MPR group were 7.38 times more likely to have a lower limit of detection (LLOD) of viral load suppression. The highest initial viral load group was 0.090-fold less likely to have an LLOD than the reference group. These results suggest that a single-tablet regimen could improve medication adherence and the clinical virologic outcome. Therefore, general population research on ART adherence and polypharmacy is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0245185
JournalPloS one
Issue number1 January
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding:Researchsupportbyagrantfromthe NationalResearchFoundationKorea(grant number:2019R1A2C1003259)(EH)isgratefully acknowledged.

Funding Information:
Research support by a grant from the National Research Foundation Korea (grant number: 2019R1A2C1003259) (EH) is gratefully acknowledged.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Oh, Han. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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