People with HIV who have a job are more likely to adhere to their antiretrovirals, according to a new study out of the International Labour Organization (ILO), a division of the United Nations. A research team conducted a literature review of 23 studies involving 6,674 people with HIV and also conducted questionnaires with global stakeholders in order to help provide a larger context to the findings of the studies. Stakeholders included representatives from the Inter Agency Task Team on Treatment, the World Health Organization, people living with the virus, constituents of the ILO, and national AIDS commissions.

The review found that those who were employed had a 39 percent greater likelihood (with a range of 13 to 71 percent) of optimal adherence to ARVs when compared with those who did not have a job.

The contextual interviews made clear that employment improved adherence by providing both food security and financial security to deal with potential barriers to adherence, including lack of transportation or lack of funds to pay for clinic visits, refill medications and to make any other out-of-pocket health care payments. In many developing nations, unemployed people with HIV did not have the money to support basic needs.

The interviews also found that people who endure HIV stigma are less likely to reveal their HIV status at work, which places a drag on drug adherence while at work, since people would not want to be seen taking medications.

To read the report, click here.