Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Antiretroviral therapy adherence in youth living with HIV: Exploring the role of risk behaviors, health promotion behaviors and depressive symptoms

Megan Loew

Data is provided by the student.


Youth living with HIV are often inconsistent with their HIV medication adherence. HIV medication adherence is critical for the treatment of HIV and prevention for future transmission. Understanding associated behaviors that may impact adherence for individuals living with HIV is necessary for their continued care. The current study aimed to more fully identify the influences engaging in risk behaviors, health promoting behaviors and experiencing depressive symptoms have on HIV medication adherence in adolescents and young adults with HIV. Participants were 92 adolescents and young adults with HIV living in the mid-south region of the United States. Individuals completed surveys about demographics, psychosocial behaviors, depressive symptoms and antiretroviral therapy (ART) medication adherence during a clinic visit. Path analyses were conducted to measure the model fit of the Reflective-Impulsive theory on ART adherence. Results did not support any significant path coefficients, variance explained, or mediation effects. These findings suggest limited insight into health and risk factors related to ART adherence in youth living with HIV, but may offer some suggestions for future research. Further study is warranted to understand the relationship among these factors in order to improve ART adherence and health outcomes.