Over forty percent of women living with HIV report interruption in antiretroviral therapy during intrapartum and early postpartum inpatient stay: findings from five hospitals in Ghana.

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DOI: 10.1080/09540121.2023.2254546


Antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence during and after pregnancy is essential to reduce perinatal transmission of HIV. However, little is known about adherence during the intrapartum and early postpartum inpatient hospital stay. Using secondary data from a hospital-based cohort study focused on the relationship between birthweight and engagement in HIV care, we examined the magnitude of, reasons for, and factors associated with incomplete intrapartum and early postpartum ART adherence among adult women (18 years or older) living with HIV who delivered within the previous two weeks at one of five hospitals in Accra, Ghana. Of the 142 enrolled participants who had complete adherence data and reported being on ART at the time of hospital admission, 43% (61/142) reported missing at least one ART dose during labor, delivery, and postpartum, including almost 20% (28/142) missing 2 or more consecutive doses. Women who reported frequently missing ART doses during pregnancy had higher odds of reporting missed doses during their intrapartum and postpartum hospital stays. Among those with inpatient ART interruption, the most frequently cited reasons were: forgetting medication at home (42%) and challenges of being in or recovering from labor (29%). Maternal perception of infant health at birth, hospital level of care, and frequency of missing HIV medications during pregnancy were associated with incomplete ART adherence during the intrapartum and early postpartum inpatient stay. An enabling clinical environment to facilitate access to ART during inpatient stays may have positive implications for ART adherence.

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AIDS care





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MeSH Keywords

Pregnancy; Adult; Infant, Newborn; Infant; Female; Humans; HIV Infections; Cohort Studies; Pregnancy Complications, Infectious; Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical; Ghana; Inpatients; Postpartum Period; Anti-Retroviral Agents; Medication Adherence; Hospitals; Anti-HIV Agents


ART adherence; Ghana; HIV; mother-to-child transmission; secondary analysis

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