Study uses novel incentive to encourage HIV patient care and treatment

July 17, 2012, Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health

In a new study by ICAP at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health, researchers are assessing a novel approach to encourage newly diagnosed HIV positive people to seek care and adhere to HIV treatment. The unique study in the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) gives people who test HIV positive a coupon for a gift card to claim after they complete clinic visits and laboratory tests. Patients who adhere to HIV treatment regularly can decrease the amount of HIV in their blood, leading to viral suppression. Study participants who achieve viral suppression also receive gift cards as a reward and motivation for a maximum of four times a year.

Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, ICAP director, is protocol chair for the HPTN 065 or Test Link to Care Plus Treat (TLC-Plus) Study. HPTN 065 is being conducted in the Bronx and in Washington, DC and involves 37 HIV testing sites and 39 HIV care sites in the two communities. HPTN 065 aims to determine the feasibility of enhanced testing, linkage and treatment as a strategy for HIV prevention in the U.S.

Community input played an important role in the design of the study, explained Dr. El-Sadr, who is also professor of Epidemiology and Medicine at Columbia's Mailman School. "Before we introduced our financial incentive, we had to think so carefully about what can happen that's good and what can undermine what you're trying to do," she said. "And we want to use incentives that, if they are effective, will be cost-effective for health systems."

Findings of the study are featured in Science magazine's July 13 special issue, "HIV/AIDS in America," published on the eve of the International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) in Washington, D.C.

Explore further: Expanding HIV treatment for couples could significantly reduce global HIV epidemic

Related Stories

Expanding HIV treatment for couples could significantly reduce global HIV epidemic

October 18, 2011
A new study uses a mathematical model to predict the potential impact of expanding treatment to discordant couples on controlling the global HIV epidemic-- in these couples one partner has HIV infection and the other does ...

New book on HIV from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press

December 15, 2011
The worldwide AIDS epidemic makes research on HIV, the disease processes it induces, and potential HIV therapies among the most critical in biomedical science. Furthermore, the basic biology of HIV infections provides a model ...

IU expert: Current HIV testing approach 'not doing the job'

June 28, 2012
Beth Meyerson, co-chair of the Rural Center for AIDS/STD Prevention at Indiana University, said expanding HIV testing is critical.

Lessons learned from the 'ethical odyssey' of an HIV trial

June 14, 2012
In the battle against HIV/AIDS conditions on the frontlines are constantly in flux as treatment, research and policy evolve. The landmark HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 052 study, which established that antiretroviral ...

Recommended for you

HIV-1 genetic diversity is higher in vaginal tract than in blood during early infection

January 18, 2018
A first-of-its-kind study has found that the genetic diversity of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is higher in the vaginal tract than in the blood stream during early infection. This finding, published in PLOS ...

War in Ukraine has escalated HIV spread in the country: study

January 15, 2018
Conflict in Ukraine has increased the risk of HIV outbreaks throughout the country as displaced HIV-infected people move from war-affected regions to areas with higher risk of transmission, according to analysis by scientists.

Researchers offer new model for uncovering true HIV mortality rates in Zambia

January 12, 2018
A new study that seeks to better ascertain HIV mortality rates in Zambia could provide a model for improved national and regional surveillance approaches, and ultimately, more effective HIV treatment strategies.

New drug capsule may allow weekly HIV treatment

January 9, 2018
Researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women's Hospital have developed a capsule that can deliver a week's worth of HIV drugs in a single dose. This advance could make it much easier for patients to adhere to the strict schedule ...

New long-acting, less-toxic HIV drug suppresses virus in humanized mice

January 8, 2018
A team of Yale researchers tested a new chemical compound that suppresses HIV, protects immune cells, and remains effective for weeks with a single dose. In animal experiments, the compound proved to be a promising new candidate ...

Usage remains low for pill that can prevent HIV infection

January 8, 2018
From gritty neighborhoods in New York and Los Angeles to clinics in Kenya and Brazil, health workers are trying to popularize a pill that has proven highly effective in preventing HIV but which—in their view—remains woefully ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.