Community HIV Treatment Advocacy Programs May Support Treatment Adherence
Published in: AIDS Education and Prevention, v. 24, no. 1, Feb. 2012, p. 1-14
Posted on RAND.org on February 01, 2012
Treatment advocacy (TA) programs, based in AIDS service organizations and clinics, aim to engage clients into care and support antiretroviral treatment (ART) adherence through client-centered counseling; advocate for patients with providers; and provide social service referrals. Systematic evaluations of TA are lacking. We conducted a non-randomized evaluation examining relationships of TA participation to adherence, care engagement, social services utilization, unmet needs, patient self-advocacy, and adherence self-efficacy among 121 HIV-positive clients (36 in TA, 85 not in TA; 87% male, 34% African American, 31% White, 19% Latino). In multivariate models, TA participants (vs. non-TA participants) showed higher electronically monitored [85.3% vs. 70.7% of doses taken; b(SE) = 13.16(5.55), p < .05] and self-reported [91.1% vs. 75.0%; b(SE) = 11.60(5.65), p < .05] adherence; utilized more social service programs [Ms = 5.2 vs. 3.4; b(SE) = 1.97(0.48), p < .0001]; and had fewer unmet social-service needs [Ms = 1.8 vs. 2.7; b(SE) = −1.06(0.48), p < .05]. Findings suggest the need for a randomized controlled trial of TA.