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AIDS Behav. 2015 Jan;19(1):128-36. doi: 10.1007/s10461-014-0850-8.

Effect of directly observed antiretroviral therapy compared to self-administered antiretroviral therapy on adherence and virological outcomes among HIV-infected prisoners: a randomized controlled pilot study.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, 130 Mason Farm Road, Chapel Hill, NC, 27284, USA,


The effect of directly observed therapy (DOT) versus self-administered therapy (SAT) on antiretroviral (ART) adherence and virological outcomes in prison has never been assessed in a randomized, controlled trial. Prisoners were randomized to receive ART by DOT or SAT. The primary outcome was medication adherence [percent of ART doses measured by the medication event monitoring system (MEMS) and pill counts] at the end of 24 weeks. The changes in the plasma viral loads from baseline and proportion of participants virological suppressed (<400 copies/mL) at the end of 24 weeks were assessed. Sixty-six percent (90/136) of eligible prisoners declined participation. Participants in the DOT arm (n = 20) had higher viral loads than participants in the SAT (n = 23) arm (p = 0.23). Participants, with complete data at 24 weeks, were analyzed as randomized. There were no significant differences in median ART adherence between the DOT (n = 16, 99% MEMS [IQR 93.9, 100], 97.1 % pill count [IQR 95.1, 99.3]) and SAT (n = 21, 98.3 % MEMS [IQR 96.0, 100], 98.5 % pill count [95.8, 100]) arms (p = 0.82 MEMS, p = 0.40 Pill Count) at 24 weeks. Participants in the DOT arm had a greater reduction in viral load of approximately -1 log 10 copies/mL [IQR -1.75, -0.05] compared to -0.05 [IQR -0.45, 0.51] in the SAT arm (p value = 0.02) at 24 weeks. The proportion of participants achieving virological suppression in the DOT vs SAT arms was not statistically different at 24 weeks (53 % vs 32 %, p = 0.21). These findings suggest that DOT ART programs in prison settings may not offer any additional benefit on adherence than SAT programs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
[Available on 2016-01-01]
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