Using a Mobile Health Intervention to Support HIV Treatment Adherence and Retention Among Patients at Risk for Disengaging with Care.

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Publication Date: 
Mar 31, 2016

Less than half of the 1.2 million HIV-infected individuals in the United States are in consistent medical care, with only a third receiving treatment resulting in viral suppression. Novel interventions to improve engagement are necessary to ensure medical adherence, improve long-term outcomes, and reduce HIV transmission. Mobile health (mHealth) strategies including cell phone and text messaging have shown success in the developing world for medical adherence, yet mHealth interventions have not been developed and evaluated to improve retention in HIV care in the United States. We conducted a 6-month pilot study investigating the use of a clinic-based bi-directional texting intervention to enhance engagement in HIV care among those with higher risk of loss to follow up, including those with a recent HIV diagnosis or those re-engaging in HIV care at a large urban clinic in New England.