Recent mobile health interventions to support medication adherence among HIV-positive MSM

Curr Opin HIV AIDS. 2017 Sep;12(5):432-441. doi: 10.1097/COH.0000000000000401.


Purpose of review: We describe recent mobile health (mHealth) interventions supporting antiretroviral therapy (ART) medication adherence among HIV-positive MSM.

Recent findings: Keyword searches (1 January 2016-13 May 2017) identified 721 citations. Seven publications reporting on six studies met inclusion criteria. Five studies focused on MSM. Interventions primarily employed text messaging (n = 4), whereas two focused on smartphone apps and one on social media. Three studies measured intervention impact on adherence and found increased ART use intentions (n = 1), self-reported adherence (n = 1), and viral suppression (n = 1, no control group). Other mHealth interventions for HIV-positive MSM focused on status disclosure and reducing sexual risk.

Summary: mHealth interventions to support ART adherence among MSM show acceptability, feasibility, and preliminary efficacy. No recent mHealth interventions for MSM measured impact on viral suppression compared with a control condition despite earlier (pre-2015) evidence for efficacy. Studies are underway that include multiple features designed to improve adherence within complex smartphone or internet-based platforms. Areas for future growth include overcoming measurement and engagement challenges, developing tools for coordinating patient and provider adherence data, testing combination interventions, and adapting efficacious interventions for new languages and geographic settings.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • Homosexuality, Male*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence*
  • Mobile Applications
  • Smartphone*
  • Telemedicine*
  • Text Messaging