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Background: We prospectively studied the impact of an adherence counselor on the outcome of patients failing antiretroviral therapy because of nonadherence. Methods: Forty-six patients, identified as chronically nonadherent were enrolled. Individual attention was provided using the information, motivation and behavioral methodology. HIV RNA (viral load, in copies/mL), CD4 count (in cells/[mm.sup.3]), and body weight before and after the adherence counselor were measured. Qualitative outcome and patient satisfaction were assessed by deidentified third-party interviews. Results: Over half completed at least 1 year; only 8 patients were lost to follow-up. Mean CD4 counts increased significantly (P < .05) for completers at 6 and 12 months. Viral loads decreased between baseline and 6 months. Most clients reported subjective benefit from working with the adherence counselor. Conclusion: Although few clients showed complete virologic suppression, the value of an adherence counselor was validated. Longer term adherence programs should be evaluated.