Florida Public Health Review

Publication Date

June 2009


This study examined health literacy in Hispanic HIV infected patients attending two large public clinics in Miami, Florida and assessed its association with adherence to antiretroviral medications. We performed a cross-sectional study. Eligible participants were enrolled from the Jackson Memorial Hospital HIV outpatient clinic and the University of Miami AIDS clinical research facility. Data were derived from socio-demographic information, the adult AIDS clinical trial group (AACTG) adherence questionnaire, the short test of functional literacy in adults (STOHFLA), and information about HIV clinical stages. Questionnaires were completed by study participants or by the study coordinator in their preferred language and the information about HIV stage was obtained from the medical record. Analysis included descriptive, univariate, and bivariate statistics. Sixty patients participated. There were high rates of low health literacy in this group and low levels of adherence to antiretrovirals. However, there was no statistically significant association between health literacy and medication adherence in 30 days or 4 days prior to the clinic visit. Low health literacy was evident in one-third of participants. Health literacy alone was not associated with adherence to antiretrovirals in this sample. Future studies need to identify factors associated with adherence to antiretrovirals in HIV infected Hispanic individuals to improve disease outcomes.