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Cognitive Behavioral Intervention Ups ART Adherence in Adolescents, Young Adults

Improvement in self-reported antiretroviral therapy adherence and decrease in viral load seen with intervention

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Jan. 9, 2023 (HealthDay News) — The Adherence Connection for Counseling, Education, and Support (ACCESS) peer-led, mobile health cognitive behavioral antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence intervention improves adherence to ART for adolescents and young adults (AYA) with HIV infection, according to a study published online Dec. 27 in AIDS and Behavior.

Ann-Margaret Dunn Navarra, Ph.D., from the Rory Myers College of Nursing at New York University in New York City, and colleagues developed and tested the ACCESS peer-led, mobile health cognitive behavioral ART adherence intervention. HIV-positive AYA, aged 16 to 29 years, with unsuppressed plasma HIV RNA were eligible for the five-session intervention. Sixteen participants received 78 peer-led remote videoconferencing sessions.

Completion rates (97.5 percent) and client satisfaction scores (mean, 29.13 of 32) were high. The researchers observed an improvement in self-reported ART adherence (32 percent increase in doses taken), with an annualized average rate of 47.5 percent reduction in HIV viral load.

“The combination of technology and peer health coaches is highly promising for HIV behavioral science, and has the potential to improve clinical treatment and prevent transmission in this population,” Navarra said in a statement.

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