Thrasher Research Fund - Medical research grants to improve the lives of children

Project Details

Early Career

Status: Funded - Open

A family-centered social media intervention to promote antiretroviral therapy adherence among adolescents and young adults with HIV in Uganda (Family U-SMART)

Julian Adong, MBChB, MMed


BACKGROUND: Poor antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence among adolescents and young adults with HIV (AYWH) remains a barrier to improving HIV clinical outcomes. GAP: Current counseling strategies for AYWH who have poor ART adherence have been shown to be ineffective; novel interventions are needed that leverage existing support systems and are appealing to AYWH. We propose to develop a family centered intervention to promote adherence. The Uganda Social Media to improve Adherence and Retention in Therapy, Family U-SMART. HYPOTHESIS: Family U-SMART will be acceptable to caregivers and AYWH and will improve adherence, compared to standard-of-care prescribed intensive adherence counseling sessions in a cohort of AYWH in Uganda. METHODS: We will conduct a prospective mixed methods cohort study using focus group discussions to develop the intervention, then a longitudinal cohort of AYWH and their caregivers over three months to examine feasibility, acceptability and preliminary efficacy of Family U-SMART intervention. RESULTS: Pending. IMPACT: Results of this study have the potential to catalyze the use of alternative ways of engaging AYWH in care, and improving ART adherence and HIV treatment outcomes, and will be used to apply for a larger RCT to examine effectiveness of the family U-SMART intervention.

Supervising Institution:
Mbarara University of Science & Technology

Jessica Haberer

Project Location:
Uganda, United States

Award Amount: