Facilitating Integration of HIV Prevention Strategies in Underserved Populations Through an mHealth Intervention

Period of Performance: 07/13/2017 - 06/30/2018


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Research Circle Associates, LLC
Baltimore, MD 21212
Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT Each year there are at least 50,000 new HIV infections in the United States. African Americans, who make up only 12 percent of the U.S. population, make up 44 percent of the HIV-positive population.[1] Latinos face three times the HIV infection rates as whites.[2] This circumstance occurs in an era of highly effective and tolerable treatment regimens for HIV that improve health, prevent premature death, and have the ability to halt transmission. Yet, the burden of the illness continues to be disproportionately borne by minority and other health disparity populations. The knowledge and tools to prevent and treat HIV infection exist; yet, providers and patients do not have the necessary science and treatment knowledge to fully leverage the advances in HIV prevention, treatment, and care. Our proposed mobile health intervention has the potential to change the course of HIV prevention and treatment efforts in the U.S. by creating a mechanism for initiating and enhancing the provider-patient dialogue around HIV science and treatment. The proposed project has two specific aims with defined milestones to ensure appropriate evaluation and timely completion of the project. Aim 1 is focused on Prototype Development, including content development, and will be guided by a Project Advisory Panel of experts in HIV prevention and treatment research and clinical care. Aim 2 involves Feasibility Testing and Refinement of the prototype based on end user input. The formative research in this Phase 1 SBIR will provide critical information to guide the design of a commercially viable provider-patient communication channel that could surmount health literacy barriers and result in more rapid diffusion of HIV prevention efforts into the healthcare system. Primary care provider participants, not limited to physicians, and patient participants will be recruited from clinics within a community-based health center serving a large, residentially segregated, minority population.[3] The proposed intervention is innovative in both function and design and builds on the growing precedent of using electronic interfaces in clinic waiting rooms to complete either general or topical questionnaires. The application is unique in that it promotes provider-patient HIV literacy by creating a channel for the provider and patient to have an open, frank dialogue about the patient?s HIV risk using current evidence-based recommendations and data collected in real-time in a primary care setting. This approach is designed to maximize the impact of prevention efforts, particularly for those most at risk for HIV infection?communities of color, socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals, and medically underserved populations.