AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 17, Issue 9, pp 2963–2976 | Cite as

Test of a Web-Based Program to Improve Adherence to HIV Medications

  • Rebekah K. HerschEmail author
  • Royer F. Cook
  • Douglas W. Billings
  • Seth Kaplan
  • David Murray
  • Steven Safren
  • Justin Goforth
  • Joy Spencer
Original Paper


We evaluated the effectiveness of a web-based version of the Life-Steps intervention combined with modules for stress reduction and mood management, designed to improve medication adherence among HIV infected individuals. 168 HIV+ adults were randomized into either the Life-Steps program or a waitlist control condition. All participants completed a baseline assessment and provided a 2-week electronic pill (MEMS) cap baseline reading. Follow up data collection was conducted at 3, 6 and 9 months. Patients in the web-based Life-Steps condition had significantly higher antiretroviral medication adherence rates than patients in the control group over the nine-month period as measured by the MEMS cap. In addition, analysis of viral load data indicated that the program also resulted in a significant decrease in viral load. These findings indicate that a web-based Life-Steps program can be a useful and implementable tool for helping patients living with HIV maintain medication adherence.


Medication adherence Web-based program ART Antiretroviral therapy 


Evaluamos la eficacia de una intervención de la versión de Life-Steps basada en el internet, combinada con módulos para la reducción del estrés y manejo de estados de comportamiento, diseñada para mejorar la adherencia a medicamentos entre personas viviendo con VIH. 168 personas viviendo con VIH fueron aleatorizadas al programa Life-Steps o a un grupo de control en lista de espera. Todos los participantes completaron una evaluación inicial y proporcionaron una referencia de los resultados de una prueba de dos semanas del sistema electrónico de monitoreo de medicamentos (MEMS) ubicado en la tapa del frasco de pastillas. Se recopilaron datos subsiguientes a los 3, 6 y 9 meses. Los pacientes asignados a la condición de Life- Steps tenían índices de adherencia al medicamento antirretroviral significativamente mayor que los pacientes en el grupo control durante el periodo de nueve meses de acuerdo al registro del sistema electrónico de monitoreo. Además, cuando se analizaron los datos de la carga viral se observó que el programa también resultó en una disminución significativa de la carga viral. Estos resultados indican que el programa Life-Steps puede ser una herramienta útil y aplicable para ayudar a las personas viviendo con VIH a mantener adherencia a sus medicamentos.



This study was funded by a National Institute on Drug Abuse grant (5RC1DA028505), Royer F. Cook, Principal Investigator.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebekah K. Hersch
    • 1
    Email author
  • Royer F. Cook
    • 1
  • Douglas W. Billings
    • 1
  • Seth Kaplan
    • 2
  • David Murray
    • 3
  • Steven Safren
    • 4
  • Justin Goforth
    • 5
  • Joy Spencer
    • 1
  1. 1.ISA Associates, Inc.AlexandriaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  3. 3.Division of Epidemiology, Statistics, and Prevention ResearchEunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of HealthRockvilleUSA
  4. 4.Massachusettes General Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  5. 5.Whitman Walker HealthWashingtonUSA

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