Helping people living with HIV to remain healthy and reduce transmission to sexual partners ('positive prevention') can be accomplished by behavioral counseling and supporting adherence to infectivity-reducing antiretroviral therapy (ART). Positive prevention and ART adherence approaches that are not staff-dependent are urgently needed in Africa, the region hardest hit by HIV and decimated health workforce. Interactive health communication tools offer one approach. We will adapt a computerized counseling intervention found to be efficacious in reducing HIV-1 viral load and risk behaviors in the US ('CARE+') with the largest HIV provider in Kenya, the Academic Model for the Prevention and Treatment of HIV/AIDS (AMPATH).
Aim 1 : Adapt a theoretically driven computerized counseling intervention for use in Kenya ('CARE+_Kenya'). Conduct in-depth interviews with nd 0 urban and rural AMPATH patients to understand HIV support needs, and two staff focus groups to assess counseling practices and beliefs about computer use. Modify intervention content;translate and record audio into local Kiswahili. Adapt skill-building videos (e.g., on secondary prevention, HIV disclosure, ART adherence, reproductive health). Conduct software usability testing with n=20 patients and n=8 staff. Perform 3-day test-retest reliability assessment to establish psychometric performance of measures.
Aim 2 : Establish biological and behavioral efficacy of CARE+_Kenya. Longitudinal randomized controlled trial (RCT) in one urban and one rural AMAPATH clinic. Randomly assign HIV-positive adults with any missed ART or unprotected sex in last 6 months, >1 sex partner in last year, or sexually transmitted infection (STI) diagnosis in last 3 years, to intervention (n=125) or risk-assessment control (n=125) for baseline, 3, 6, and 9 month sessions. HIV transmission risk will be measured by self-reported unprotected sex with HIV- negative/unknown partner, and trends in Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and T. vaginalis. ART adherence will be measured by HIV-1 viral load, electronic monitoring, pharmacy refill, self-report, and clinic attendance.
Aim 3 : Establish cost-effectiveness of CARE+_Kenya. At baseline, follow 100 patients t at eachofthe two clinics to evaluate standard of care counseling, and collect time-pen and fcltdyata to t determine costs ndunmet counselin need. Conduct economic evaluation to compare CARE+_Kenya vs. standard of care. If the RCT shows that the intervention reduces viral load and transmission risk behaviors, we will use a Bernoulli transmission dynamics model to estimate number of secondary HIV infections prevented;then reatea ot-ffctivnssmodltocalculate 2 incremental cost-effectiveness ratios: 1) cost per HIV infection averted, and 2) cost per daily adjusted life year saved. If CARE+_Kenya is efficacious and efficient, we will develop a proposal for a cluster-randomized trial to assess translational effectiveness of CARE+_Kenya throughout the AMPATH system. This is directly responsive to PA-08-107's call for innovative, integrated interventions that leverage ART roll-out infrastructure in international settings to benefit people living with HIV.
We will adapt a computerized counseling intervention found to be efficacious in reducing HIV-1 viral load and secondary HIV transmission risk behaviors in the US ('CARE+') with the largest provider of HIV care in Kenya, the Academic Model for the Prevention and Treatment of HIV/AIDS (AMPATH). We will conduct a randomized controlled trial to establish efficacy in this high-HIV burden setting, and transmission dynamics modeling and economic evaluation to determine intervention cost-effectiveness.