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09.01.2019 | Original Paper

Use of an mHealth Intervention to Improve Engagement in HIV Community-Based Care Among Persons Recently Released from a Correctional Facility in Washington, DC: A Pilot Study

AIDS and Behavior
Irene Kuo, Tao Liu, Rudy Patrick, Claudia Trezza, Lauri Bazerman, Breana J. Uhrig Castonguay, James Peterson, Ann Kurth, Curt G. Beckwith
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We examined the preliminary effectiveness of a computerized counseling session plus post-incarceration text messaging intervention (CARE + Corrections) to support ART adherence and linkage/engagement in community care among recently incarcerated persons with HIV in Washington, D.C. Recently incarcerated persons with HIV ≥ 18 years old were recruited from the D.C. jail or community outreach and randomized to CARE + Corrections or control arm. Participants completed assessments at baseline, 3-months and 6-months. Multivariable random effects modeling identified predictors of suppressed viral load (≤ 200 copies/mL) and engagement in HIV care at 6 months. Participants (N = 110) were aged 42 (IQR 30–49); 58% male, 24% female, 18% transgender, 85% Black, and lifetime incarceration was a median of 7 years (IQR 2–15). More controls had a regular healthcare provider at baseline. Although not statistically significant, intervention participants had increased odds of viral suppression versus controls at 6 months (AOR 2.04; 95% CI 0.62, 6.70). Those reporting high ART adherence at baseline had higher odds of viral suppression at follow-up (AOR 10.77; 95% CI 1.83, 63.31). HIV care engagement was similar between the two groups, although both groups reported increased engagement at 6 months versus baseline. We observed a positive but non-significant association of viral suppression in the CARE + Corrections group, and care engagement increased in both groups after 6 months. Further attention to increasing viral suppression among CJ-involved persons with HIV upon community reentry is warranted.

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