Study uses novel incentive to encourage HIV patient care and treatment

July 17, 2012

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

Paris spotlight on latest in AIDS science

July 21, 2017
Some 6,000 HIV experts gather in Paris from Sunday to report advances in AIDS science as fading hopes of finding a cure push research into new fields.

Scientists elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies to HIV in calves

July 20, 2017
Scientists supported by the National Institutes of Health have achieved a significant step forward, eliciting broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) to HIV by immunizing calves. The findings offer insights for HIV vaccine ...

Heart toxin reveals new insights into HIV-1 integration in T cell genome

July 20, 2017
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 may have evolved to integrate its genetic material into certain immune-cell-activating genes in humans, according to new research published in PLOS Pathogens.

Scientists capture first high-resolution image of key HIV protein transitional state

July 13, 2017
A new, three-dimensional snapshot of HIV demonstrates the radical structural transformations that enable the virus to recognize and infect host cells, according to a new study led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute ...

Barrier to autoimmune disease may open door to HIV, study suggests

July 11, 2017
Researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine have discovered that a process that protects the body from autoimmune disease also prevents the immune system from generating antibodies that can neutralize the ...

Team tests best delivery mode for potential HIV vaccine

June 20, 2017
For decades, HIV has successfully evaded all efforts to create an effective vaccine but researchers at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology (LJI) are steadily inching ...

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.