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Smartphone App Medication Reminder for HIV Patients to be Developed

March 22, 2013

The Medical College of Wisconsin’s Center for AIDS Intervention Research (CAIR) has received a three year, $688,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse to fund development of a new smartphone application aimed at increasing medication adherence among HIV-positive patients.

Keith Horvath, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral health at CAIR, is the primary investigator of the grant.

HIV-positive men who use methamphetamine and other stimulants have been shown to have poor treatment outcomes that may be the result of low rates of adherence to antiretroviral medication regimes. Therefore, developing novel and timely adherence interventions for these men is essential to their long-term health.

In this project, Dr. Horvath seeks to develop a smartphone application (or “app”) that would improve antiretroviral medication usage among that population. Online focus groups will be utilized to identify the contents and functions of the proposed app that would be of most interest to potential users. Potential content will include informational messages, medication reminders, and anti-retroviral and drug use self-monitoring tools.

The smartphone app will then be developed and tested in an intervention group for 60 days. If found effective, the app may be made available for national dissemination through partnering with HIV clinics in high-burden regions, and in low resource and rural areas.

The Center for AIDS Intervention Research at MCW is one of five HIV prevention research centers in the United States funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. CAIR’s missions are to conceptualize, conduct, and scientifically evaluate the effectiveness of new intervention strategies to prevent HIV infection in populations vulnerable to the disease. CAIR’s research also develops improved strategies to promote health and alleviate adverse mental health consequences among persons living with HIV. CAIR is committed to disseminating its findings both to the scientific community and to public health providers so they benefit from Center research.

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