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Federal stimulus funds support studies geared to improving HIV care and prevention
Date:11/5/2009

UCSF HIV researchers have received two NIH grants of $1 million each to study the use of web-based, patient controlled personal health records to improve health and HIV prevention outcomes for HIV positive patients.

Both studies are funded through the federal stimulus bill, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

One study will look at using mobile phone text messages linked to a web-based personal health record to help HIV patients' adherence to pill-taking regimens.

"Patients participating in the study will not only be assisted with taking their HIV medications, but also with medications for conditions like diabetes and hypertension. At least half the patients we see in our clinic have at least one other chronic disease that requires medication to control. Our hypothesis is that using individualized text message reminders linked to personal health records will help patients better succeed in self-management of their multiple health challenges," said James S. Kahn, MD, professor of clinical medicine at the UCSF Positive Health Program at San Francisco General Hospital.

Two methods will be used to assess adherence to medication regimens in this project. Self-report of pill taking is one. A biological marker, measurement of antiviral drug levels in hair, is the other method used. A member of the research team, UCSF assistant professor of medicine Monica Gandhi, MD, MPH, has shown this method to be a better correlate of success in HIV viral suppression during treatment than other variables usually considered.

The other study will test the feasibility and acceptability of a web-based strategy that seeks to reduce drug and alcohol use and accompanying HIV risk behaviors and improve antiretroviral medication adherence by HIV positive patients.

The strategy is called SBIRT and consists of screening for drug and alcohol use, a brief intervention and referral to treatment. It has been shown to be effec
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Contact: Jeff Sheehy
jsheehy@ari.ucsf.edu
415-597-8165
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert

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