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Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) for Individuals With HIV: Successes and Challenges

from Medscape General Medicine [TM]
Posted 02/04/2003

Jennifer Adelson Mitty, MD, MPH, Grace Macalino, PhD, MPH, Lynn Taylor, MD, Joseph I. Harwell, MD, Timothy P. Flanigan, MD

Abstract and Introduction


Many HIV-infected individuals have not reaped the benefits of combination antiretroviral therapy due to inability either to adhere to medications or to access care. It is now recognized that innovative approaches are needed to increase access and adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), especially among these hard-to-reach populations. Due to the success of directly observed therapy (DOT) for the treatment of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB), our group and others have questioned whether DOT can be adapted to deliver HAART to hard-to-reach communities. In this review, we discuss the results of pilot programs that have utilized DOT in multiple different settings and use case studies to explore the diverse issues that can arise when implementing these programs. As we continue to gain more experience with observed therapy, we will be able to better identify the key components for a successful intervention.