Factors affecting ART adherence among youths living with HIV and receiving care from Kawempe home care in Kawempe division, Kampala- Uganda
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HIV infected youths have survived to older age although problems with their routines of adherence to Antiretroviral therapy. Available data on ART adherence in youths have been recorded around the world although not in the particular area of Kawempe, Kampala-Uganda. The aim of the study was to (a) determine the level of adherence among the youths, and (b) assess the factors affecting adherence to ART among youths 18-35years attending Kawempe Home Care. A cross-sectional quantitative study was conducted among 99 youths aged 18-35 years attending ART clinic at Kawempe Home Care. Analysis was carried out and showed that the highest proportion of participants were females (n=99, 72.7%). The mean age of the youths was 29.98 years, (range 1835 years). Majority were married (n=99, 42.4%). Side effects analyzed included; vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, headache, skin rush. Nausea was the most commonly reported ART side effect in both males and females. More than a third (n=99, 98.53%) had not stop their medications due to ARV side effects contrary to the 1.47% who stated that they immediately stopped their medication due to ARV side effects. The majority of participants reported stigma. The relatively low adherence rate of the study participants is attributed to lifestyle behaviors, HIV-associated stigma and ART side-effects which is worrisome and portends a serious threat to the goal of elimination of HIV in Uganda. This mandates for regular counselling on adherence and healthy lifestyle, and prompt management of ART side-effects would improve adherence in the study setting.