Urgent Need for Coordination in Adopting Standardized Antiretroviral Adherence Performance Indicators


In recent years, global health initiatives have greatly increased the number of patients in low-income countries started on antiretroviral therapy (ART). This creates an urgent need to know how well HIV/AIDS programs maintain patients on therapy. This was emphasized in a recent comment with reference to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief program. Consensus, however, is lacking on practical, reliable, and valid indicators to monitor program performance on adherence.

Recently, the Global Fund became the first funding organization to recommend an adherence indicator to monitor program performance. This is a welcome beginning. International organizations and national AIDS control programs have a clear and urgent need to finalize agreement about standard indicators to monitor patient adherence and retention and to begin to make such data publicly available. UNAIDS and the WHO Department of HIV/AIDS should take the lead in coordinating donor and country collaboration in this important endeavor.