This longitudinal, nonexperimental, quantitative study examined the acceptability, feasibility, and efficacy of a texting intervention that was added to medical case management for youth and young adults at high risk for poor HIV outcomes. The intervention, E-VOLUTION, sent automated text messages to youth participants living with HIV that reminded them to take prescribed medication and attend medical visits. Automated texts also asked clients about mood, housing, and ability to pay bills. Client responses to automated texts that indicated challenges triggered alerts for their medical case manager, who then followed up to address the issue. Participants (N = 100) were an average age between 22 and 23 years and most were Black (95%) and men who have sex with men (82%). Over a period of 26 months 89,681 automated texts were sent, resulting in 450 alerts. Additionally, clients and medical case managers exchanged more than 17,000 texts. Results of Spearman correlations indicated significant associations between greater frequency of alerts triggered and greater likelihood of kept medical appointments (p <.05). Findings also showed significant associations between greater frequency of texting with a medical case manager and greater likelihood of viral load suppression and kept medical visits at 12-month follow-up (p <.01). More frequent substance use was associated with more alerts triggered (p <.01). Use of text messaging was acceptable to the participants and is a culturally responsive way to engage youth participants living with HIV in care. Future research may examine the use of structured behavioral health assessments in the automated texting framework, as well as compare outcomes between automated and two-way texting groups.
- adolescent health
- sexual health