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People living with HIV/AIDS in prison: regular use of antiretroviral therapy

Glaucia Morandim Ravanholi Erika Aparecida Catoia Rubia Laine de Paula Andrade Livia Maria Lopes Maria Eugenia Firmino Brunello Valdes Roberto Bollela Maria Ines Battistella Nemes Aline Aparecida Monroe About the authors



To analyze the challenges related to regularity in the use of antiretroviral therapy by people living with HIV deprived of their liberty.


This is an exploratory study, with a quantitative approach, carried out in six prison units of two municipalities in São Paulo State. The data collection took place in the period from August to November 2015, through interviews, with the support of a specific tool. Data were analyzed using descriptive techniques, univariate analysis (Chi-Square association test and Fisher’s Exact Test) and non-parametric Mann-Whitney U test.


67 individuals taking antiretroviral therapy participated in the study. It was identified that, in the last seven days, 80.6% of the subjects did not stop taking the antiretroviral drugs and 91% denied taking the wrong amount of tablets, according to the medical prescription. Regarding the antiretroviral therapy monitoring actions, questioning about continuous use of the drugs by the health team of the prison units was considered regular. Irregular use of antiretroviral therapy showed a statistically significant association with use of licit drugs prior to incarceration (p = 0.006) and interruption of medical follow-up (p = 0.014).


These findings show the need for intervention strategies that favor follow-up and monitoring of the use of antiretroviral therapy in the prison context.

Public health; Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; Antiretroviral therapy, highly active; Treatment adherence and compliance; Prisoons

Escola Paulista de Enfermagem, Universidade Federal de São Paulo R. Napoleão de Barros, 754, 04024-002 São Paulo - SP/Brasil, Tel./Fax: (55 11) 5576 4430 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil