Adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV) in Vietnam are known to struggle with adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy (ART).


To examine treatment challenges and facilitators experienced by ALHIV from the perspective of adolescents, their caregivers, and providers, and to inform an adherence intervention.


In-depth Interviews (IDIs) of adolescent/caregiver dyads and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with adolescents, caregivers, and clinicians were conducted in Hanoi, Vietnam. We used semi-structured guides to encourage open-ended responses. We queried the challenges adolescents experience taking ART medications and being adherent, their awareness of disease status, and facilitators to support high adherence. Audio-recorded IDIs were translated into English, and coded and analyzed in NVivo using a thematic approach.


A total of 78 individuals participated in the study. Forty individuals participated in IDIs (20 adolescents and 20 caregivers). All adolescents had acquired HIV perinatally. We conducted six FGDs: four with adolescents, and one each with caregivers and clinicians. We identified major themes regarding awareness of HIV status (most caregivers reported they had disclosed to their child, while few adolescents revealed the knowledge of their status); perceived barriers to adherence (medication-related challenges, stigma, school-associated issues, financial obstacles, system challenges, awareness of HIV status); and adherence facilitators (development of dose-taking habits, reminder systems, social support). Differences between adolescents and caregivers related to key issues were evident.


Further research is needed to elucidate discrepancies in adolescent-caregiver viewpoints and develop interventions tailored to both ALHIV and their caregivers.

Keywords: Adolescents, Caregivers, Antiretroviral therapy, Adherence, Qualitative research, Vietnam.
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