HIV-infected migrants were shown to have poorer treatment outcomes than Dutch HIV-infected patients, often due to worse treatment adherence. Self-reported adherence would be an easy way to monitor adherence, but its validity relative to pharmacy refill adherence has not been extensively evaluated in migrants. All HIV-infected migrants older than 18 years and in care at the two Rotterdam HIV-treatment centers were eligible. Refill data with leftover medication (PRL) (residual pill count) were obtained from their pharmacies up to 15 months prior to inclusion. Self-reported adherence to combination Antiretroviral Therapy was assessed by four questions about adherence at inclusion. Additionally, risk factors for pharmacy refill non-adherence were examined. In total, 299 HIV-infected migrants were included. Viral load (VL) was detectable in 11% of the patients. Specificity of PRL was 53% for patients with an adherence of 100% and decreased with lower cut-off values. Sensitivity and negative predictive value (NPV) were 68% and 15% and increased with lower cut-off values. Positive predictive value (PPV) was around 93% for all cut-off values. Using the self-reported questions, 139 patients (47%) reported to be adherent. Sensitivity was 49% and specificity was 72%. PPV and NPV were 95% and 13%. No risk factors for pharmacy refill non-adherence were found in multivariable analyses. Both PRL and self-reported adherence, can predict undetectable VL in HIV-infected migrants. PPV and NPV are similar for both methods. This study shows that using four self-reported items is sufficient to predict adherence which is crucial for optimal clinical outcome in HIV-infected migrants.

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Journal PLoS ONE
Been, S.K, Yildiz, E. (Elif), Nieuwkerk, P.T, Pogány, K, Van De Vijver, D.A.M.C. (David A. M. C.), & Verbon, A. (2017). Self-reported adherence and pharmacy refill adherence are both predictive for an undetectable viral load among HIV-infected migrants receiving cART. PLoS ONE, 12(11). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0186912