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

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

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aDepartment of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill bCenter for Health Policy and Inequalities Research, Duke Global Health Institute, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina cDivision of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota dFamily and Community Health, School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania eInstitute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA.



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


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.


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.

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