mHealth Intervention for Linkage and Retention in Men

Description/Activities:  Two SMS services were offered at the Site B and Kuyasa Male clinics: Newly diagnosed HIV positive men were offered SMS reminders daily for three days to start antiretroviral care. Men starting antiretrovirals were offered monthly appointment reminders for the first six months of antiretroviral care. 55 men signed up for the linkage reminders out of 357 offered, and 78 for the appointment reminders out of 198 offered. 

What Makes the Intervention Unique/Different:  Leverages the use of mobile technology to reach men with reminders for initiating treatment and continuous reminders for monthly appointments – providing support to men in a way that is most convenient and addresses a key challenge in linking and retaining men on treatment. 

Impact Data:  SMSes improved linkage. 55% of those who signed up for the linkage reminders linked to care within 30 days, compared to 35% of those who declined the SMS service over the same period. SMSes had an effect on retention. Retention in care in the SMS group was better at 3 and 6 months (84% and 78% respectively), compared to the decliners (69% and 60% respectively), although this effect was not sustained after the SMS reminders ceased, with retention at 12 months being 50% in the SMS group and 53% in the decliners.