Background: The amount of HIV in a person’s blood can be suppressed to an undetectable level through antiretroviral therapy medications (ART). Adhering to an ART regimen can improve a person’s health and reduce HIV transmission. Despite these benefits, many people with HIV do not maintain the level of adherence required to achieve an undetectable viral load. This problem is particularly common among people who have been incarcerated. Objective: To determine effects of incentivizing viral suppression in previously incarcerated adults with HIV. Methods: Adults with HIV (N = 102) and detectable viral load (>200 copies/mL) were randomly assigned to a Usual Care or Incentive group. Usual Care participants did not earn incentives for viral suppression. Incentive participants earned incentives ($10/day maximum) for providing blood samples with a reduced or undetectable (<200 copies/mL) viral load. Assessments were conducted every 3 months. Results collected during the first year were aggregated and compared based on group assignment and incarceration history. Results: Previously incarcerated participants in the Incentive group provided more (OR: 2.9; CI: 1.3-6.8; p <.05) blood samples with an undetectable viral load (69%) than those in the Usual Care group (41%). Never-incarcerated participants in the Incentive group provided more (OR: 6.8; CI: 2.2-21.0; p <.01) blood samples with an undetectable viral load (78%) than those in the Usual Care group (36%). Effects of incentives did not differ by incarceration history. Conclusions: Incentivizing viral suppression can increase viral suppression (undetectable viral load) in people who have been incarcerated.
- Antiretroviral medication adherence
- viral suppression
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases
- Pharmacology (medical)