People living with HIV (PLHIV) are at increased risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD); however, uptake of evidence based therapies to prevent ASCVD is sub-optimal. Reasons for under treatment may include low perceived risk, competing priorities for HIV specialist providers, and poor trust and communication with non-HIV primary care providers. This project proposes a nurse-led intervention to extend the HIV/AIDS treatment cascade?a widely adopted framework developed to improve access to high quality HIV care?for CVD prevention, specifically to improve control of blood pressure and hyperlipidemia in PLHIV on antiretroviral therapy who have suppressed HIV viral load. The study will be conducted in three racially and ethnically diverse clinic contexts [University Hospitals (Cleveland, OH), MetroHealth (Cleveland, OH) and Duke Health (Durham, NC)] that are broadly representative of HIV specialty care in the US. Using a mixed-methods clinical effectiveness trial design, this project will test the 12-month efficacy of a multi-component intervention among n=300 HIV+ adults on suppressive ART with hypertension and hyperlipidemia. Participants will be randomized 1:1 to intervention vs. education control. Control participants will receive general prevention education. The intervention will consist of four evidence-based components derived from prior studies in the general population: (1) nurse-led care coordination, (2) nurse- managed medication protocols and adherence support (3) home BP monitoring, and (4) electronic medical records (EMR) support tools. These components will be further adapted to the HIV specialty clinic context with key stakeholder input and using data from a mixed-methods study of current ASCVD preventive care practices at the three HIV clinic sites. The primary outcome will be change in systolic blood pressure and secondary outcome will be change in non-HDL cholesterol. The tertiary outcome will be the change is the proportion of participants in the following extended cascade categories: (1) appropriately diagnosed with hypertension and hyperlipidemia (2) appropriately managed; (3) at treatment goal (systolic blood pressure <140mmHg and non-HDL cholesterol < National Lipid Association targets). The study will have >80% power to detect a 6mmhg lower systolic BP and >90% power to detect a 15mg/dL lower non-HDL cholesterol in the intervention arm vs. education control. A process evaluation of the prevention nurse intervention will be conducted, which will assess fidelity, dose, recruitment, reach, and context. Two key contextual process measures of interest will be changes in perceived ASCVD risk and changes in trust and communication between PLHIV participants and their HIV and non-HIV providers. If proven effective to reduce both blood pressure and cholesterol as postulated, our nurse-led intervention will have substantial clinical impact among high-risk PLHIV, potentially reducing ASCVD events by more than a quarter. This model is potentially scalable as an extension of HIV treatment cascade initiatives nationwide.

Public Health Relevance

Strategies to improve uptake of cardiovascular disease preventive therapies among people living with HIV (PLHIV) are urgently needed. Our study tests an innovative prevention nurse intervention to extend the HIV/AIDS treatment cascade for the treatment of hypertension and hyperlipidemia among PLHIV on suppressive antiretroviral therapy. This intervention may be scalable as an extension of ongoing HIV/AIDS treatment cascade initiatives in HIV specialty clinics nationwide.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Research Project--Cooperative Agreements (U01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZHL1)
Program Officer
Shero, Susan
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Case Western Reserve University
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code