Article Text

Download PDFPDF

P3 Two way text-messaging improves HIV outcomes for HIV-positive youth with gaps in care
  1. D Gerke1,
  2. J Glotfelty2,
  3. J Schlueter2,
  4. M Freshman2,
  5. S Slovacek2,
  6. M Jonson-Reid3,
  7. K Plax2
  1. 1School of Social Work, University of Denver, Denver, USA
  2. 2Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, USA
  3. 3School of Social Work, Washington University, St Louis, USA


Aims Youth are overrepresented in the number of new HIV cases and fare worse across the HIV care continuum. To address these challenges, we implemented a text-messaging intervention to increase engagement in care and improve viral suppression (VLS) rates. The aim of this study was to determine if intervention participation increased achieving or maintaining VLS after 6 months.

Methods We recruited 100 HIV-positive youth receiving care in our program and meeting at least one additional criterion (newly diagnosed; not linked to care; out of care more than six months in last 2 years; viral load >200 copies/mL). The automated two-way text-messaging intervention included medication reminders, appointment reminders, a housing/utilities needs assessment and mood checks. Participant challenges reported triggered action alerts to case managers who responded via text or phone. Results were examined over 6 months.

Results Participants in the intervention were mostly male (79%), Black (91%), and YMSM (71%), with an average age of 24.58 (SD=2.88). Youth in our intervention group experienced trauma (29. 4% reported intmate partner violence and 34.3% experienced sexual assault) and participated in survival sex (22.5% traded sex and 28.4% received payment for sex). 46.2% of participants reported alcohol use and 55.8% reported marijuana use several times per month. 81% of youth participated in 89,120 text exchanges. Text responses triggered 395 alerts. The most common alerts were for missed medication, missed appointments and housing issues. Twenty-five participants newly achieved VLS and 35 maintained VLS during the 6 months. A significantly greater proportion of participants were virally suppressed at 6 months versus baseline (p=0.018)

Conclusion Even with high rates of adversity experiences this two-way texting intervention improved VLS for youth and for those with gaps in care.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.