Findings from a research demonstration project exploring use of social media to engage people with HIV in care have been compiled under an HHS Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) project. Next steps are to formally present findings in peer reviewed journals (several articles are already available) and then later develop dissemination manuals to sites seeking to replicate insights.
Below is a summary of this Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) Special Projects of National Significance (SPNS) Initiative.
The HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau's Part F SPNS Program recently concluded a four-year initiative (2015-2019), Use of Social Media to Improve Engagement, Retention, and Health Outcomes along the HIV Care Continuum. This initiative has been a multi-site demonstration and evaluation of 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.
At the final multi-site meeting of the initiative, held June 25-26, 2019, preliminary quantitative and qualitative cross-site findings were presented, and each demonstration site presented their intervention models and experiences. Slide sets and recordings of these presentations can be found at the Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center website, based at UCLA. Once on this page, look for .pdf and .mp4 files in the column on the right, and use them in tandem.
Dissemination Plans and Replication Resources
Beginning late in 2019 and continuing through 2020, HRSA and project sites plan to release final results and findings from the initiative in peer-reviewed publications and conferences. Please watch here for announcements about future publications. In addition, in late fall 2019, HRSA will post monographs about each demonstration, including a summary of results and information on who to contact about adapting and replicating intervention models. Intervention manuals are anticipated to be made available in winter 2019/2020. These manuals will give detailed information and instruction on intervention model replication.
- 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.