Novel approaches to monitoring and utilizing adherence to HIV therapy in Africa

Investigator: Peter Hunt, MD
Sponsor: Massachusetts General Hospital

Location(s): Uganda


The investigators will study use a novel method of real-time wireless adherence monitoring in one of the best established multi-disciplinary HIV antiretroviral treatment cohorts in rural Africa. The investigators will advance our theoretical understanding of HIV antiretroviral adherence behavior, HIV pathogenesis, and to address the monitoring and prevention of HIV antiretroviral treatment failure. Based on a successful pilot study in rural Uganda and favorable cost-effective estimates, the investigators will deploy the Wisepill real-time wireless adherence monitoring system to objectively monitor adherence in real time. The investigators will determine to what extent social capital mitigates economic barriers to long-term adherence and determine if the pervasive impact of stigma on adherence operates through social capital (Aim 1). The investigators will determine the relationship between missed doses, low-level viremia (between 1 and 50 copies RNA/mL), inflammation, bacterial translocation, suboptimal CD4 response, and mortality (Aim 2). Finally, The investigators will examine the relationship between complex adherence patterns and viral failure to both inform selective viral load monitoring and to lay the foundation for the first-of-kind intervention to prevent viral failure after missed doses, but before viral rebound (Aim 3). The investigators will secure behavioral and biologic data over nine years of potential treatment by recruiting 500 additional people to our existing cohort in Mbarara, Uganda for a total of 775 participants.