Masivukeni: Development of a Multimedia Based Antiretroviral Therapy Adherence Intervention for Counselors and Patients in South Africa

Remien, Robert Howard; Mellins, Claude; Robbins, Reuben; Kelsey, Ryan; Rowe, Jessica C.; Warne, Patricia; Chowdhury, Jenifar; Lalkhen, Nuruneesa; Hoppe, Lara; Abrams, Elaine J.; El-Bassel, Nabila; Witte, Susan S.; Stein, Dan J.

Effective medical treatment for HIV/AIDS requires patients’ optimal adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART). In resource-constrained settings, lack of adequate standardized counseling for patients on ART remains a significant barrier to adherence. Masivukeni (“Let’s Wake Up” in Xhosa) is an innovative multimedia-based intervention designed to help people living with HIV in resource-limited settings achieve and maintain high levels of ART adherence. Adapted from a couples-based intervention tested in the United States (US), Masivukeni was developed through community-based participatory research with US and South African partners and informed by Ewart’s Social Action Theory. Innovative computer-based multimedia strategies were used to translate a labor- and training-intensive intervention into one that could be readily and widely used by lay counselors with relatively little training with low-literacy patients. In this paper, we describe the foundations of this new intervention, the process of its development, and the evidence of its high acceptability and feasibility.

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AIDS and Behavior