Crystal Clear with Active Visualization: Understanding Medication Adherence Among Youth Living with HIV

AIDS Behav. 2020 Apr;24(4):1207-1211. doi: 10.1007/s10461-019-02721-3.


Adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) among youth remains low. We piloted an adapted active visualization device that demonstrates how ART works in the body. Youth living with HIV were randomized to: (1) standard care (n = 14) or the (2) adapted active visualization intervention (n = 14) and 71% of the sample (n = 19) were re-assessed on viral load, adherence behaviors, and illness perceptions 2.5 months later. Intervention youth had lower viral loads, reported less difficulty in adhering to ART, and more motivation and control over their HIV than standard care at follow-up. Active visualization may be an acceptable tool to address ART adherence among youth.

Keywords: Antiretroviral therapy; Medication adherence; Multisensory learning; Viral load; Youth living with HIV.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-HIV Agents* / therapeutic use
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Medication Adherence
  • Motivation
  • Viral Load


  • Anti-HIV Agents