Intervention monographs and implementation manuals from ten demonstration sites that participated in the Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) Program project, Use of Social Media to Improve Engagement, Retention, and Health Outcomes along the HIV Care Continuum.
This initiative focused on innovative social and digital media methods designed to identify, link, and retain underserved, uninsured, hard-to-reach youth and young adults (aged 13-34) with HIV in primary care and supportive services. Methods used have included a variety of social media, internet, and mobile-based technologies to improve engagement and retention in care, and viral suppression.
Demonstration Sites and Projects
The Washington University, Saint Louis, MO
The intervention used a combination of texting, videos posted via YouTube and other social networks, and an online support group to improve engagement of the target population along the HIV care continuum.
Health eNav: Digital HIV Care Navigation Services
San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, CA
This project implemented digital navigation services encompassing a variety of text, mobile app, and social network platforms. The approach included creating a digital and social media safety net to identify, engage, and retain youth and young adults living with HIV in San Francisco.
OPT-In for Life
Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, PA
The intervention promoted the OPT-In For Life app and social media sites for current and newly enrolled Part C patients aged 13-34. The Part C clinics in the region utilized a select portion of the OPT-In app that allows for confidential messaging between patient and provider as a means to retain them in care and to encourage medication adherence and safer lifestyles.
Positively Connected for Health (PC4H)
Philadelphia FIGHT, Philadelphia, PA
PC4H is structured to reach youth through three distinct yet coordinated social media approaches, including the iknowUshould2 platform, the TreatYourSelf mobile app, and APPlify Your Health.
Positive Peers Application (PPA)
The Metro Health System, Cleveland, OH
The Positive Peers Application (PPA) is a web-based mobile application for youth and young people aged 13-34 living with HIV. It featured information, social networking, and self-management tools to support HIV-related holistic care.
SMARTEE: Social Media App for Retention, Treatment, Engagement, and Education
Howard Brown Health Center (HBHC), Chicago, IL
Through the use of a downloadable smart phone app or web portal, this social media intervention engaged young men who have sex with men (YMSM) and transwomen of color aged 13 to 34 who are patients at HBHC.
Text Me, Girl: Text Messaging to Improve Linkage, Retention and Health Outcomes among HIV-positive Young Transgender Women
Friends Research Institute, Inc., Los Angeles, CA
Participants received 3 theory-based text messages per day that were tailored for young HIV-positive transwomen. Following the 90-day intervention, participants could choose to opt in or out of continued weekly messages.
Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC
The intervention harnessed established social media commonly used by young MSM and transgender women, including Facebook, text messaging, and established GPS-based mobile applications.
Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation Inc., Corpus Christi, TX
The project adapted the Antiretroviral Treatment and Access to Services (ARTAS) evidence-based intervention (EBI) for implementation via social media platforms (Mobile ARTAS), in order to engage recently diagnosed youth into HIV care.
Y Get It?: Using Social Media to Do What You Need to Do
New York State Department of Health, Menands, NY
The Y Get It? Project was comprised of a mobile application developed in collaboration with Mt. Sinai App Lab and Peer Engagement and Educator Professionals (PEEPs) placed at two engagement hubs, Montefiore AIDS Center, and Long Island Crisis Center.
Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center (ETAC)
The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) served as the Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center (ETAC) for this initiative. The ETAC coordinated the multi-site evaluation, provided programmatic technical assistance to the demonstration sites, and led the publication and dissemination of findings, best practices, and lessons learned.
Brooks RA, Swendeman D, Hannay J. Special Projects of National Significance Social Media Initiative: Improving Health Outcomes Along the HIV Care Continuum in Youth and Young Adults Living With HIV [published online ahead of print, 2020 Aug 6]. Health Promot Pract. 2020. doi.org/10.1177/1524839920944806
Brooks RA, Nieto O, Swendeman D, et al. Qualitative Evaluation of Social Media and Mobile Technology Interventions Designed to Improve HIV Health Outcomes for Youth and Young Adults Living With HIV: A HRSA SPNS Initiative [published online ahead of print, 2020 Aug 6]. Health Promot Pract. 2020;1524839920938704. doi:10.1177/1524839920938704
Gerke DR, Step MM, Rünger D, et al. Associations Between Social Support and Social Media Use Among Young Adult Cisgender MSM and Transgender Women Living With HIV [published online ahead of print, 2020 Aug 6]. Health Promot Pract. 2020;1524839920936248. doi:10.1177/1524839920936248
Gerke DR, Glotfelty J, Schlueter J, Freshman M, Plax K. E-VOLUTION: A Text Messaging-Powered Intervention-Connection, Support, and HIV Eradication [published online ahead of print, 2020 Aug 6]. Health Promot Pract. 2020;1524839920936242. doi:10.1177/1524839920936242
Zurlo J, Du P, Haynos A, Collins V, Eshak T, Whitener C. OPT-In For Life: A Mobile Technology-Based Intervention to Improve HIV Care Continuum for Young Adults Living With HIV [published online ahead of print, 2020 Aug 6]. Health Promot Pract. 2020;1524839920936247. doi:10.1177/1524839920936247
Arayasirikul S, Turner C, Trujillo D, Le V, Beltran T, Wilson EC. Does the Use of Motivational Interviewing Skills Promote Change Talk Among Young People Living With HIV in a Digital HIV Care Navigation Text Messaging Intervention? [published online ahead of print, 2020 Aug 6]. Health Promot Pract. 2020;1524839920936246. doi:10.1177/1524839920936246
Step MM, Knight K, McMillen Smith J, Lewis SA, Russell TJ, Avery AK. Positive Peers Mobile Application Reduces Stigma Perception Among Young People Living With HIV [published online ahead of print, 2020 Aug 6]. Health Promot Pract. 2020;1524839920936244. doi:10.1177/1524839920936244
Tanner AE, Mann-Jackson L, Song EY, et al. Supporting Health Among Young Men Who Have Sex With Men and Transgender Women With HIV: Lessons Learned From Implementing the weCare Intervention [published online ahead of print, 2020 Aug 6]. Health Promot Pract. 2020;1524839920936241. doi:10.1177/1524839920936241
Tanner AE, Mann L, Song E, Alonzo J, Schafer K, Arellano E, Garcia JM, Rhodes SD. weCARE: A social media–based intervention designed to increase HIV care linkage, retention, and health outcomes for racially and ethnically diverse young MSM. AIDS Education and Prevention. 2016 Jun;28(3):216-30. PMCID: PMC5010783
Marcu G, Dowshen N, Saha S, Sarreal RR, Andalibi N. TreatYoSelf: Empathy-driven behavioral intervention for marginalized youth living with HIV. In Proceedings of the 10th EAI International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare 2016 May 16 (pp. 69-76). ICST (Institute for Computer Sciences, Social-Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering).
- Tanner AE, Song EY, Mann-Jackson L, Alonzo J, Schafer K, Ware S, Garcia JM, Arellano Hall E, Bell JC, Van Dam CN, Rhodes SD. Preliminary Impact of the weCare Social Media Intervention to Support Health for Young Men Who Have Sex with Men and Transgender Women with HIV. AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2018 Nov;32(11):450-458. doi: 10.1089/apc.2018.0060.
- Reback CJ, Rünger D. Technology use to facilitate health care among young adult transgender women living with HIV, AIDS Care. 2019 Aug 12. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2019.1653439. PMID: 31405287.
- Reback CJ, Fletcher JB, Fehrenbacher AE, Kisler K. Text Messaging to Improve Linkage, Retention, and Health Outcomes Among HIV-Positive Young Transgender Women: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial (Text Me, Girl!). JMIR Res Protoc. 2019 Jul 29;8(7):e12837. doi: 10.2196/12837. PMID: 31359867; PMCID: PMC6690158.
- Medich M, Swendeman DT, Comulada WS, Kao UH, Myers JJ, Brooks RA; Special Projects Of National Significance Social Media Initiative Study Group. Promising Approaches for Engaging Youth and Young Adults Living with HIV in HIV Primary Care Using Social Media and Mobile Technology Interventions: Protocol for the SPNS Social Media Initiative. JMIR Res Protoc. 2019 Jan 31;8(1):e10681. doi: 10.2196/10681. Erratum in: JMIR Res Protoc. 2019 Sep 09;8(8):e15660. PMID: 30702434; PMCID: PMC6374729.
- Trujillo D, Turner C, Le V, Wilson EC, Arayasirikul S. Digital HIV Care Navigation for Young People Living With HIV in San Francisco, California: Feasibility and Acceptability Study. JMIR mHealth and uHealth. 2020;8(1):e16838. PMID: 31922489
- Arayasirikul S, Trujillo D, Turner CM, Le V, Wilson EC. Implementing a Digital HIV Care Navigation Intervention (Health eNav): Protocol for a Feasibility Study. JMIR research protocols. 2019;8(11):e16406. PMCID: PMC6874804
- Turner CM, Arayasirikul S, Trujillo D, Lê V, Wilson EC. Social inequity and structural barriers to completion of ecological momentary assessments for young men who have sex with men and trans women living with HIV in San Francisco. JMIR mHealth and uHealth. 2019;7(5):e13241. PMCID: PMC6530262
Step MM, McMillen Smith J, Kratz J, Briggs J, Avery A. “Positive Peers”: Function and Content Development of a Mobile App for Engaging and Retaining Young Adults in HIV Care. JMIR Form Res 2020;4(1):e13495. PMCID: PMC7055772.