Antiretroviral adherence health behavior change, health disparities, HIV/AIDS, motivation


Ethnic minorities continue to be disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic and those individuals living with the virus experience differential outcomes in treatment. Technology-based approaches have been used to address a variety of health problems, but few studies have focused on the application of these approaches in addressing HIV treatment disparities. Using a sample of African-American patients identified as lost to follow-up for HIV treatment (n=33), this study examined the feasibility and acceptability of a web-based program designed to assess and improve treatment engagement. Participants were randomly assigned to either the web-based assessment program or the control group. Measures of behavior change intentions and motivation were administered to all participants. Assessment group participants completed additional measures to determine personal reactions and perceived credibility related to the web-based program. Findings indicated that assessment group participants reported significantly higher behavior change intentions than those in the control group. In addition, assessment group participants viewed the program favorably and rated it highly as a credible approach to improve their adherence and engagement with care. Findings from this pilot study indicate that the web-based program is feasible and acceptable as a clinical tool to improve engagement among African American patients with HIV.