Tailored text messages to promote knowledge, prevention, social support, and medication adherence for people living with HIV
Uhrig, J. D., & Coomes, C. M. (2013, March). Tailored text messages to promote knowledge, prevention, social support, and medication adherence for people living with HIV. Presented at Health 2.0: Digital Technology in Clinical Care, New York, NY, March 22, .
Effective antiretroviral therapy has altered the HIV epidemic from being an acute disease to a chronic, manageable condition for many people living with HIV. The pervasiveness, low cost, and convenience of text messaging suggests its potential suitability for supporting the treatment of conditions that must be managed over an extended period. Large scale trials of text message-based interventions have been conducted abroad with mixed results. We conducted a pre-experimental proof-of-concept study, funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Policy, to develop, implement, and test a tailored text message-based intervention with 52 men who have sex with men recruited from a Chicago health clinic. The messages focused on improving medication adherence, reducing risk-taking behaviors and enhancing HIV knowledge, social support, and patient involvement. Self-reported medication adherence significantly improved among participants who began the study as nonadherent and received tailored medication reminders. Overall, viral load significantly decreased and CD4 count significantly increased from baseline to follow-up. We detected a statistically significant increase in HIV knowledge and social support from baseline to follow-up. Among participants who received sexual risk reduction messages, we also detected a statistically significant reduction in reported risk behaviors from baseline to follow-up. Building on this project, we received funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration to develop a text message library and to implement and evaluate a text-message based intervention designed to improve medication adherence and retention in care among HIV positive racially and ethnically diverse youth as part of the UCARE4LIFE program.