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Belief in divine healing can be a barrier to antiretroviral therapy adherence in Uganda

Wanyama, Janea; Castelnuovo, Barbaraa; Wandera, Bonniea; Mwebaze, Patriciaa; Kambugu, Andrewa; Bangsberg, David Rb; Kamya, Moses Ra,c

doi: 10.1097/QAD.0b013e32823ecf7f
Research Letters

Although recent data suggest high levels of adherence to expanding antiretroviral therapy (ART) programmes in resource-limited settings, the culture-specific barriers to adherence are poorly understood. In a prospective observational study, we found that 1.2% of patients discontinued ART because of a belief in spiritual healing. Spiritual beliefs should be an important part of ART adherence counselling in resource-limited settings, requiring close collaboration between HIV care programmes and religious leaders to identify common goals and ensure successful treatment.

aInfectious Disease Institute, Kampala, Uganda

bEpidemiology and Prevention Interventions Center, Division of Infectious Diseases and The Positive Health Program UCSF, San Francisco, California, USA

cMakerere University, Kampala, Uganda.

Received 30 March, 2007

Accepted 12 April, 2007

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.