Antiretroviral therapy has been available through the public sector in Botswana since 2002. But there is continuing concern at the level of adherence. Studies conducted in Botswana have reported adherence levels of 83% (Nwokike, 2004) in the public sector and 54% (Weiser et al., 2003) in the private sector - rates below the minimum level of 95% required for treatment success and to help delay the emergence of drug-resistant strains of HIV.
To date, studies in Africa have mainly reported on adherence rates (Gill et al., 2005). However, qualitative studies are also needed in order to identify barriers and facilitators to adherence. Kumarasamy et al., (2005) identified the main barriers as treatment-related costs, privacy, and stigma, while the facilitators were the perceived benefits of ART, awareness of the consequences of sub-optimal adherence, and social support mechanisms.