Effect of Text Messaging Plus Peer Navigation on Viral Suppression among Youth with HIV in the iCARE Nigeria Pilot Study

Babafemi O. Taiwo*, Kehinde M. Kuti, Lisa M. Kuhns, Olayinka Omigbodun, Olutosin Awolude, Adedotun Adetunji, Baiba Berzins, Patrick Janulis, Amy K. Johnson, Ogochukwu Okonkwor, Bibilola D. Oladeji, Abigail Muldoon, Olubusuyi M. Adewumi, Paul Amoo, Hannah Atunde, Bill Kapogiannis, Robert Garofalo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background:Consistent with the global trend, youth with HIV (YWH) in Nigeria have high rates of viral nonsuppression. Hence, novel interventions are needed.Setting:Infectious Diseases Institute, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.Methods:In a single-arm trial, participants aged 15-24 years received 48 weeks of a combination intervention, comprising daily 2-way text message medication reminders plus peer navigation. The primary outcome measure was viral suppression less than 200 copies/mL. The secondary outcome measures included self-reported adherence on a visual analog scale and medication possession ratio, each dichotomized as ≥90% (good) or <90% (poor) adherence. The outcomes were analyzed using McNemar test. Retention in care, intervention feasibility and acceptability, and participants' satisfaction were also assessed.Results:Forty YWH (50% male participants) were enrolled: mean age 19.9 years (SD = 2.5), 55% perinatally infected, and 35% virologically suppressed at baseline. Compared with baseline, the odds of virologic suppression was higher at 24 weeks (odds ratio = 14.00, P < 0.001) and 48 weeks (odds ratio = 6.00, P = 0.013). Self-reported adherence (≥90%) increased from baseline at 24 weeks (63%, P = 0.008) and 48 weeks (68%, P = 0.031). Medication possession ratio ≥90% increased at weeks 24 and 48 (85% and 80%, respectively), achieving statistical significance at 24 weeks alone (P = 0.022). Retention in care at 48 weeks was 87.5%. All (37/37) participants at week 48 were fully or mostly satisfied with the intervention.Conclusion:Daily 2-way text message reminders plus peer navigation is a promising combination intervention to improve viral suppression among YWH in Nigeria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1086-1092
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2021


  • adherence
  • peers
  • phones
  • viral suppression
  • youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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