Predictors of Medication Adherence Among HIV-Positive Women in North America


  • Lynda A. Tyer-Viola,

    Corresponding author
    • Correspondence

      Lynda A. Tyer-Viola, RNC, PhD, FAAN

      Texas Children's Hospital

      6651 Main Street, F.0967.13

      Houston, TX 77030

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  • Inge B. Corless,

  • Alison Webel,

  • Paula Reid,

  • Kathleen M. Sullivan,

  • Patrice Nichols,

  • the International Nursing Network for HIV/AIDS Research

  • The authors report no conflict of interest or relevant financial relationships.



To explore the relationships among contextual, environmental, and regulatory factors with antiretroviral (ARV) medication adherence to assist care providers in improving care for women living with HIV.


Descriptive, multicenter study.


Sixteen HIV clinics and service organizations in North America.


This convenience sample was drawn from a larger study of 2,182 persons living with HIV recruited from clinics and service from September 2009 to January 2011. We included 383 women living with HIV who were taking ARV medications.


We assessed the relationship of contextual, environmental, and psychological factors specific to women living with HIV in relation to adherence to ARV medication. Descriptive and multivariate statistics were used to examine the effects of these factors on self-reported ARV drug adherence.


Age, depression symptoms, stigma, engagement with health care provider, and four psychological factors were correlated with self-reported ARV medication adherence (p = .01). Regression analysis indicated that adherence self-efficacy and depression symptoms accounted for 19% for 3-day and 22% for 30-day self-reported medication adherence.


Adherence self-efficacy and depression symptoms predict ARV medication adherence in women and should be evaluated by nurses. Future research is needed to identify antecedents to and interventions that support adherence self-efficacy and decrease depression symptoms.