Adapt for adolescents: Protocol for a sequential multiple assignment randomized trial to improve retention and viral suppression among adolescents and young adults living with HIV in Kenya

Lisa L. Abuogi, Jayne Lewis Kulzer, Eliud Akama, Thomas A. Odeny, Ingrid Eshun-Wilson, Maya Petersen, Starley B. Shade, Lina M. Montoya, Laura K. Beres, Sarah Iguna, Harriet F. Adhiambo, Joseph Osoro, Isaya Opondo, Norton Sang, Zachary Kwena, Elizabeth A. Bukusi, Elvin H. Geng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Adolescents and young adults living with HIV (AYAH) aged 14–24 years in Africa experience substantially higher rates of virological failure and HIV-related mortality than adults. We propose to utilize developmentally appropriate interventions with high potential for effectiveness, tailored by AYAH pre-implementation, in a sequential multiple assignment randomized trial (SMART) aimed at improving viral suppression for AYAH in Kenya. Methods: Using a SMART design, we will randomize 880 AYAH in Kisumu, Kenya to either youth-centered education and counseling (standard of care) or electronic peer navigation in which a peer provides support, information, and counseling via phone and automated monthly text messages. Those with a lapse in engagement (defined as either a missed clinic visit by ≥14 days or HIV viral load ≥1000 copies/ml) will be randomized a second time to one of three higher-intensity re-engagement interventions: 1) standard of care outreach and intensified counseling; 2) conditional cash transfers; and 3) in-person peer navigation. This study will evaluate which interventions and which dynamic sequence of interventions improve sustained viral suppression and HIV care engagement in AYAH at 24 months post-enrollment and assess the cost-effectiveness of successful strategies. Discussion: The study utilizes promising interventions tailored to AYAH while optimizing resources by intensifying services only for those AYAH who need more support. Findings from this innovative study will offer evidence for public health programming to end the HIV epidemic as a public health threat for AYAH in Africa. Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT04432571, registered June 16, 2020.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107123
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
Volume127
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • HIV
  • Retention
  • Viral suppression
  • Youth

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