Adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) is associated with positive health outcomes among HIV+ patients. However, non-adherence remains high. Though factors that account for non-adherence remain unclear, social support has been consistently associated with ART adherence. As such, identifying malleable factors that hinder patients’ ability to form supportive relationships may have consequence for improving ART adherence. Emotional avoidance (EA) may be one such factor given that it has been linked to difficulties in social situations. The present study examined relations among EA, the patient–provider relationship, other sources of social support, and ART adherence within a sample of HIV+ ART-prescribed patients. High EA was related to poor adherence and patient–provider relationships. EA was indirectly related to poor adherence through poorer patient–provider interactions. The indirect relation of EA to ART adherence through other sources of social support was not significant. Implications for developing targeted behavioral interventions focused on improving ART adherence are discussed.
- Antiretroviral therapy
- Emotional avoidance
- Patient–provider relationship
- Social support