Thanks to HAART (highly active anti-retroviral therapy), many people living with HIV now have a near-normal life expectancy. Modern anti-HIV drugs are very effective, have mild or no side-effects and are usually one or two pills taken once daily. However, for HAART to remain effective, it is critical that the HIV drugs are taken on time, every time – this is called adherence. This can be difficult for some people, and so thought has been given to how best to support people struggling with adherence.

To date, no high-quality study has provided strong evidence of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of adherence support strategies (though there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that a range of support strategies can be beneficial). A new, high-quality study has looked at a nurse-led intervention strategy called AIMS for improving adherence. It was able to show clear benenfits in terms of adhenece, and therefore, preventing virological failure. “AIMS requires few resources, is feasible to deliver in routine care, and is acceptable to health-care providers and patients,” write the authors. “The AIMS intervention should be scalable and the results generalisable to the wider population of patients and HIV clinics – at least in high-income settings. Implementation of AIMS in routine HIV clinical care is therefore strongly recommended.”

Full details of the study can be found here.