Preprint / Version 1

Barriers in Access and Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy in Developing Countries


  • Kiara Escudero Polygence
  • Youlim Kim



human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), antiretroviral therapy (ART), morality, treatment, infectiousness, adherence, access, developing countries, healthcare, medications, epidemic


Developments in antiretroviral therapy (ART) are one of the most effective ways of treating individuals infected with HIV and lowering their level of infectiousness. This therapy has been proven to significantly lessen HIV mortality rates through its combination of medicines that aim to suppress the progression of HIV throughout the body. Taking this into account, it’s critical that patients adhere to their treatment regimen in order to obtain better outcomes and control the rate of the virus within a population. This paper includes several research studies that indicate patient adherence to antiretroviral therapy and rates of retention to be suboptimal in developing regions of Africa, India, and Latin America. Placing emphasis on the importance of treatment, this paper elaborates on the extent to which barriers, such as country access to healthcare, costs of treatment, perceived discrimination, social stigma, and religion affect patient adherence to antiretroviral therapy in resource-limited environments. Furthermore, the impact of lack and unequal access to healthcare and medications pose itself as one of the most significant obstacles promoting poor treatment adherence. Thus, this paper offers suggestions that can be taken to improve adherence among HIV-infected individuals and alleviate the barriers associated with the uptake of antiretroviral therapy, in order to collectively defeat the growing HIV/AIDS pandemic.


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