The principle of directly observed therapy (DOT) has its roots in the treatment of tuberculosis (TB), for which DOT programs have improved cure rates in hard-to-reach populations. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and TB affect similar populations, and there are concerns about both regarding the development of drug resistance associated with poor adherence to therapy. Accordingly, DOT may benefit certain HIV-infected people who have difficulty adhering to highly active antiretroviral therapy. However, important differences exist in the treatment of these diseases that raise questions about how DOT can be adapted to HIV therapy. DOT for management of HIV infection has been effective among prisoners and in pilot programs in Haiti, Rhode Island, and Florida. Although DOT can successfully treat HIV infection in marginalized populations in the short term, a multitude of questions remain. This review provides an account of the preliminary development of DOT programs for the treatment of HIV-infected individuals.
Journal Article. 5400 words. Illustrated.
Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology
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