Epic Allies, a Gamified Mobile Phone App to Improve Engagement in Care, Antiretroviral Uptake, and Adherence Among Young Men Who Have Sex With Men and Young Transgender Women Who Have Sex With Men

Epic Allies, a Gamified Mobile Phone App to Improve Engagement in Care, Antiretroviral Uptake, and Adherence Among Young Men Who Have Sex With Men and Young Transgender Women Who Have Sex With Men

Epic Allies, a Gamified Mobile Phone App to Improve Engagement in Care, Antiretroviral Uptake, and Adherence Among Young Men Who Have Sex With Men and Young Transgender Women Who Have Sex With Men: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial

Background: In the United States, young men who have sex with men (YMSM) and transgender women who have sex with men (YTWSM) bear a disproportionate burden of prevalent and incident HIV infections. Once diagnosed, many YMSM and YTWSM struggle to engage in HIV care, adhere to antiretroviral therapy (ART), and achieve viral suppression. Computer-based interventions, including those focused on behavior change, are recognized as effective tools for engaging youth.

Objective: The purpose of the study described in this protocol is to evaluate the efficacy of Epic Allies, a theory-based mobile phone app that utilizes game mechanics and social networking features to improve engagement in HIV care, ART uptake, ART adherence, and viral suppression among HIV-positive YMSM and YTWSM. The study also qualitatively assesses intervention acceptability, perceived impact, and sustainability.

 

Sara LeGrand, Kathryn E Muessig, Alyssa Platt, Karina Soni, Joseph R Egger, Nkechinyere Nwoko, Tobias McNulty, Lisa B Hightow-Weidman. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29622527

Photo by Aleks Dorohovich on Unsplash

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