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    Antiretroviral medications are expensive, and people living with HIV often experience challenges accessing and paying for medication due to various obstacles. We used concept mapping to explore the challenges people living with HIV in Ontario, Canada, face when accessing medication. In brainstorming, 68 participants generated 447 statements in response to the focus prompt "Some people living with HIV have trouble getting and paying for prescription drugs because … ". These were consolidated into 77 statements, which were sorted (n = 30) and rated (n = 32) on importance and commonality. A ten-cluster concept map consisting of individual- and health system-related clusters was generated. Clusters included: (1) Stigma, (2) Medication-Related Issues, (3) Individual Challenges, (4) Basic Needs, (5) Immigration, (6) Coverage, (7) Trillium Drug Program, (8) Access to Services, (9) System-Level Issues and (10) Access to Professional Services. Statements in Coverage and Basic Needs were rated most important and common although there was variability by Ontario residence and drug coverage mechanisms. Strategies to address challenges were generated in Interpretation (n = 25 participants). Given that continuous access to antiretroviral therapy is necessary to fully realize treatment benefits, policies and interventions that address these challenges are needed.

    Citation

    Beth Rachlis, Seungwon Nam, Ron Rosenes, Terry Santoni, Ryan Peck, Adrian Betts, Claire Kendall, Deborah Yoong, Andrea Sharp, Holly Gauvin, Llewellyn Goddard, Maureen Owino, Sean B Rourke, Tony Antoniou, Ontario HIV Drug Coverage Study Team. Using concept mapping to explore the challenges associated with affording and accessing medications among people living with HIV in Ontario, Canada. AIDS care. 2021 Jun;33(6):827-832


    PMID: 32490685

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