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November 11, 2010

Mobile phone messages improve adherence and HIV control in Kenyan trial

Aidsmap: "A text message from a clinic each week resulted in better adherence and a higher level of viral load suppression among people with HIV after starting antiretroviral treatment in Kenya, a randomised controlled trial has shown.

"The results were published in the Online First section of The Lancet this week. The trial was sponsored by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

"The intervention cost around 20 cents per patient each month, and would potentially allow one nurse to monitor adherence and other issues in 1000 patients each month, the researchers calculated. ...

"Typically, the slogan "Mambo?" was sent, which is Kiswahili [Swahili] for "How are you?" The health workers used multiple recipient (bulk) messaging functions to improve efficiency. Patients in the intervention group were instructed to respond within 48 hours that either they were doing well ("Sawa") or that they had a problem ("Shida"). The clinician then called patients who said they had a problem or who failed to respond within two days."


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