Health Literacy in People Living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection: A Narrative Review

Basavaraj Poojar, Ashok K. Shenoy, Ashwin Kamath, John Ramapuram, Sathish B. Rao, Sheetal Dinkar Ullal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Overall literacy talents comprise an individual's capacity to read, write and recognise written information (print literacy), articulate and interpret oral language (oral literacy) and interpret and apply for numbers in everyday activities (numeracy). Health literacy, a subset of overall literacy talents, is relatively correlated with it and has been described as the extent to which people can gain, approach, and understand introductory medical information and services required to take health decisions. Concerning HIV, people with low health literacy have less information on the illness and their medical care needs. Moreover, they show poor drug compliance, potentially leading to treatment failure and lack of achievement of the target viral load reduction. The shortfall of non-conceptual models of health literacy is an issue in the utilization of general proficiency instruments. HIV disease-specific health literacy instruments would be more useful and likely to provide more meaningful results rather than those obtained through the use of general instruments. Further exploration of HIV health literacy is demanded. Prospective studies should involve different geographical areas with different socioeconomic characteristics, societal structures and regional healthcare settings. This narrative review has limitations. The vast majority of the HIV research referenced in this study was conducted among the western and African populations with HIV. The studies generally excluded individuals over 50 years of age, restricting the applicability of the study findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1483-1490
Number of pages8
JournalBiomedical and Pharmacology Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 09-2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology


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