Mobile Phone Reminders to Help Improve HIV Treatment Adherence - European Medical Journal

Mobile Phone Reminders to Help Improve HIV Treatment Adherence

1 Mins
Microbiology & Infectious Diseases

ACCORDING to research presented at Infectious Disease Week (IDWeek) 2022, which took place in Washington D.C., USA, on 19th–23rd October, weekly mobile phone reminders might be an effective method to increase adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and reduce morbidity among patients with HIV.

Bailee Cummings, a medical student at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine, Little Rock, USA, and colleagues enrolled 22 patients with a history of poor ART adherence who received phone calls or text messages for 6 months and were then followed for another 6 months. Adherence during the intervention period was compared with that during a 12-month preintervention period. Further, patients’ viral load, CD4 counts, clinic visits, emergency department visits, hospitalisations, and new-onset opportunistic infections were assessed during the intervention and pre-intervention periods.

In all patients enrolled, the mobile phone intervention led to an increase in mean yearly clinic visits (2.6 versus 3.8), decreased mean viral load (32,979 versus 852 copies/mL; p=0.017), and increased median CD4 cell count (142.5 versus 249.0 cells/ μL) relative to the pre-intervention period.

The intervention also resulted in a decrease in the number of patients with one or more emergency department visits (54.6% versus 36.4%), one or more hospitalisations (36.4% versus 13.6%), and new-onset opportunistic infection (18.2% versus 13.6%).

Summarising the findings, the researchers emphasised that regular phone calls or text messages may serve as a useful tool in the outpatient setting to improve ART adherence and reduce morbidity among adults with HIV. Going forward, this small pilot study supports the need to conduct a larger study in order to prove the benefit of this care model.

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