purpose: the purpose of the study was to construct and establish the psychometric properties of the questionnaire of adherence to treatment for hiv-infected women (cat-m vih), contributing to the current global need of controlling hiv infection and improving the quality of life for hiv patients. the existing assessment measures are limited and deficient; hence, the development of new tools considering gender differences is important. method: the study was instrumental (psychometric). the sample was composed of 121 women with hiv/aids attending 8 health-service facilities in the city of cali and taking antiretroviral medication. the psychometric properties assessed were the content validity, the items discrimination ability, the factorial structure as an index to construct validity, and the reliability of the cat-m vih. results: the questionnaire was finally composed of 17 items, which reflect adherence behavior to pharmacological treatment, to nonpharmacological and self-care aspects, to the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases advice, and to drug use restrictions. the preliminary psychometric properties are acceptable, having good reliability (a=0.634) and good internal structure. the items have adequate discrimination indexes and clinical relevance. conclusions: the cat-m vih could aid in improving the theoretical and methodological limitations in assessing adherence to treatment of women, responding to an integral concept of such that includes more than the antiretroviral medication taken and having substantial clinical and research utility, which is discussed in this article.