There are conflicting
reports regarding menstrual irregularities and HIV infection in women. Varying
degrees of menstrual abnormalities have been reported with prolonged ARV use,
and these have implications for drug adherence. The objective of this study was
to assess the effect of ARV drugs on menstrual pattern among HIV positive women
in South-western Nigeria. It was a descriptive cross-sectional survey among 238
HIV positive women on anti-retroviral therapy randomly selected after excluding
for co-morbidities. Research instrument was semi structured interviewer
administered questionnaires, and data was analyzed using the SPSS software.
Level of significance for statistic test was p ≤ 0.05
Mean age of respondents was
38.6±2.3 years and 205(86.1%) had commenced ART for a period of 1-5 years
mostly 1st line ART, 45(18.9%) have missed their ARVs at one time or the other
in the last 1year. Self reported adherence was good among 227(95.4%),
calculated adherence was above 95% among 185(77.7%) with a mean calculated
adherence of 93.0±3.6% and a median of 95.0%. About 167(70.2%) of respondents
reported a change in their menstrual pattern.
Different patterns of
menstrual changes reported were changes in number of days, interval between
menstruations and flow of menstrual blood, 52(73.2%) believed that use of ART
caused these menstrual changes, only 36(50.7%) reported these changes to the
doctor. Predictors of having menstrual disturbances include missing pills, poor
adherence and use of ARVs for period longer than 5years. ARVs were found to be
common causes of menstrual irregularities. Thus, clients‘ concerns should
always be addressed most especially issues that may compromise ARV adherence
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