Text messages to fight HIV?

One study shows how a cell phone reminder can help


 

Text messages may be one key to improving treatment outcomes for HIV. A text message once a week to Kenyans with HIV who were on antiretroviral therapy asked the question “How are you?” When compared to those getting the regular standard of care, and no text messages, the findings were encouraging. According to a new study published in The Lancet, adherence to the therapy was reported in 62 per cent of patients getting the text messages versus 50 per cent of the control group. Interestingly, the patients getting the weekly text messages were more likely to have an undetectable level of the human immunodeficiency virus a year after starting their treatments. Suppressed viral loads were found in 57 per cent of the texting group after a year, compared to 48 per cent in the control group. Undetectable viral loads are associated with better health and less transmission to new partners.

Toronto Star


 
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