: This is a developmental project to design and test the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a culturally appropriate intervention for supporting antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence in South Central China, in a resource-constrained setting where the national CDC is presently scaling up ART-treatment. We will adapt a theoretically driven ART adherence intervention, which demonstrated efficacy in a randomized clinical trial conducted in the United States, to the Chinese cultural and social context. The adaptation will be informed by the results of our preliminary quantitative and qualitative work in this region of China and will be validated by patient, provider, and community review groups. We will conduct a randomized, controlled pilot study of the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention among 90 patients beginning ART through the China national ART program in Hunan Province and establish a preliminary effect size in anticipation of a full-scale clinical trial. We will also use Ultra Deep Sequencing technology to describe baseline prevalence and incidence of genotypic ART resistance and explore the relationship between adherence and ART resistance. Knowledge acquired from this study will contribute to successful treatment of HIV disease through increased understanding of factors associated with ART adherence and interventions to support or improve adherence and through increased understanding of the clinical significance of genotypic mutations, including low abundance species, and the value of genotypic testing as part of clinical care. These benefits will accrue to patients in both the developed and developing world. The opportunity to acquire this knowledge is unique and time-limited, because China is in the early stages of an ambitious and well-organized ART roll out.
Knowledge gained from this study will contribute to successful treatment of HIV disease around the world through increased understanding of factors associated with antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence, interventions to improve adherence, and factors associated with resistance to ART.
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