AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 23, Issue 11, pp 3184–3198 | Cite as

A Pilot Study of a Mobile App to Support HIV Antiretroviral Therapy Adherence Among Men Who Have Sex with Men Who Use Stimulants

  • Keith J. HorvathEmail author
  • Sara Lammert
  • Richard F. MacLehose
  • Thu Danh
  • Jason V. Baker
  • Adam W. Carrico
Original Paper


APP+ is a theoretically-grounded mobile app intervention to improve antiretroviral (ART) adherence among men who have sex with men (MSM) who use stimulants. We assessed the feasibility and acceptability of APP+ in a six-month randomized controlled trial among a national sample of 90 MSM recruited online; secondarily, we examined changes in self-reported ART adherence by study arm. Retention at the final assessment was 82%, and acceptability ratings were comparable to other technology-based interventions. MSM in the APP+ group reported higher self-reported percentage ART adherence in the past 30 days at the four-month timepoint compared to a no-treatment control group (89.0% vs. 77.2%). However, once access to the app was removed after month four, group differences in ART adherence diminished by month six. APP+ may be a potentially promising intervention approach for MSM living with HIV who use stimulants but would require enhancements to optimize acceptability and demonstrate more sustained effects.


HIV/AIDS Medication adherence Drug use Mobile app 



We would like to thank participants for the time they offered during the conduct of this study. Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R34DA033833. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Epidemiology and Community HealthUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Division of Infectious DiseasesHennepin HealthcareMinneapolisUSA
  3. 3.Department of MedicineUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  4. 4.School of MedicineUniversity of MiamiCoral GablesUSA

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