In the world of HIV treatment, sticking to medication is crucial for managing the disease. Not taking medications as prescribed can lead to the disease getting worse, being passed on to others, and even causing early deaths among people living with HIV. However, there's hope in the form of new phone-based tools, known as mHealth tools, which might help people take their medications better and make their treatments work better.
A clinical trial was conducted in New York City to see how well a new mHealth tool called WiseApp could help people living with HIV stick to their treatment plans. The trial used a fair test, where some people used WiseApp, while others used a different program just for comparison. The participants in the trial were people who had difficulties following their prescribed HIV treatment.
WiseApp is not just a simple app; it's a whole package designed to help and encourage users to take their medicines regularly. It includes stories from people who've been through similar experiences, reminders that pop up on your phone, ways to track when you've taken your pills, questionnaires about health, chatrooms to talk to others, and a list of things to do every day to keep track. Both groups in the trial got a special pill bottle called CleverCap, but only the group using WiseApp could link the pill bottle to the app.
The trial found that at the beginning of the trial, the group using WiseApp did a lot better at taking their HIV medicines regularly compared to the other group. They showed a big improvement, going from taking around 48% of their pills to about 69% during the first two months of the trial. But as time went on, from the second month to the fourth, while the group using WiseApp still did better, the difference wasn't as big or as clear.