Effectiveness of a Viral Load Suppression Intervention for Highly Vulnerable People Living with HIV

Abstract [from journal] 

We examine the effect of the Undetectables Intervention (UI) on viral loads among socially vulnerable HIV-positive clients. The UI utilized a toolkit that included financial incentives, graphic novels, and community-based case management services. A pre-post repeated measures analysis (n = 502) through 4 years examined longitudinal effects of the intervention. Logistic models regressed social determinants on viral loads. Finally, in-depth qualitative interviews (n = 30) examined how UI shaped adherence. The proportion of virally suppressed time-points increased 15% (from 67 to 82% pre to post-enrollment, p < 0.0001). The proportion of the sample virally suppressed at all time-points increased by 23% (from 39 to 62% pre to post-enrollment, p < 0.0001). African Americans and the homeless were the most likely to be unsuppressed at baseline, but, along with substance users, benefitted the most from UI. The intervention shaped adherence through two pathways, by: (1) establishing worth around adherence, and (2) increasing motivation to become suppressed, and maintain adherence.