Antiretroviral-related treatment fatigue is inconsistently defined in the literature on barriers to ART adherence. Research suggests that treatment fatigue is a salient challenge for people struggling with antiretroviral therapy adherence, but little is known about how people living with HIV attempt to manage this fatigue. Twenty-seven semi-structured interviews were conducted with low-income people of color living with HIV in NYC that were currently, or recently, disengaged from HIV care. The findings from this exploratory study suggest that treatment fatigue was common and that participants devised personal strategies to overcome it. These strategies included using reminder programs, requesting weekly rather than monthly pill quantities, and taking “pill holidays”. The varied nature- and varying levels of effectiveness- of these strategies highlight the need for specific programing to provide tailored support. Future research should examine treatment fatigue as a specific subtype of adherence challenge, and aim to define pill fatigue clearly.
“Worn out”: Coping strategies for managing antiretroviral treatment fatigue among urban people of color living with HIV who were recently disengaged from outpatient HIV care
Journal of HIV/AIDS & Social Services, 19 (2), 173-187. doi: 10.1080/15381501.2020.1767749.