Technology Based Community Health Nursing to Improve Combination Anti-Retroviral Therapy (cART) Adherence and Virologic Suppression in Youth Living With HIV (Tech2Check)

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Dr. Maunank Shah is a co-Investigator on this clinical trial.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection has disproportionately persisted as a public health threat to adolescents and young adults (AYA) from minority communities in the United States. HIV has evolved into a chronic disease, which can be managed in the outpatient setting with antiretroviral therapy (ART) designed to achieve virologic suppression and life expectancy equivalent for uninfected individuals. Community health nurse (CHN) interventions have been shown to increase access to appropriate resources, enhance health care utilization, and promote risk-reducing behavior among AYA. Use of short messaging service (SMS) messaging can further enhance clinical care by improving attendance at medical visits, medication adherence, and communication with the health care team.Investigators have used these two modalities in randomized trials of youth with complex sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in low-income minority communities with high feasibility and acceptability amongst AYA and families, remarkable improvements in visit completion, medication adherence, and reduction in recurrent STIs.

The overarching goal of this project is to build on the evidence from this trial and to re-purpose the intervention for Young people Living with HIV (YLHIV) in the same community who are having challenges with care and medication non-adherence.Investigators aim to compare the effectiveness of a technology-enhanced community health nursing intervention (TECH2CHECK) to a standard of care control group using a randomized trial design. The central hypothesis is that the intervention will result in higher rates of adherence to ART and virologic suppression. Investigators have demonstrated investigators' interdisciplinary team's capacity to follow urban AYA in the community, utilizing the combination of CHNs and outreach workers to optimize care according to national standards. TECH2CHECK aims to enroll 120 YLHIV followed at clinics specializing in HIV care in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan area who are challenged with treatment adherence and randomizing participants to receive TECH2CHECK vs. standard of care. Results of this trial will inform best practices for engaging YLHIV by addressing the distal component of the continuum, critical to achieving the elusive 90-90-90 HIV goals.