Adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) drops sharply after prison release. Effective medication adherence training immediately before and after prison release may improve health outcomes and limit transmission of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). ATHENA (Adherence Through Home Education and Nursing Assessment) is an evidence-based medication adherence intervention, which is delivered in the patient’s home by nurses and peer educators working in teams. In this study, researchers will examine the acceptability and feasibility of the ATHENA intervention through a 2-arm randomized controlled trial conducted with HIV-infected prisoners in Indonesia. Eligible subjects will be >18 years of age, HIV-infected, and may be treatment-experienced or treatment-naive. Subjects randomized to the intervention arm will participate in monthly medication adherence counseling sessions within prison and home visits up to four months after prison release. Subjects randomized to the control arm will receive standard care, which includes a referral for HIV care after prison release. The primary endpoint is the proportion of subjects demonstrating ART adherence >90% at 3 months after prison release. Secondary endpoints are: 1) retention in HIV care, 2) ART initiation, 3) HIV- RNA viral load, 4) CD4+ T-cell count, 5) quality of life, 6) hospitalization, 6) substance use and sexual risk behaviors at 3 months after prison release.
The acceptability and feasibility of the adapted ATHENA intervention will be assessed through a 2-arm randomized controlled trial conducted in two phases with HIV-infected prisoners recruited from 2 correctional facilities in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Phase 1: HIV+ prisoners who are already aware of their status will be recruited through prison clinics and randomized to receive either the adapted ATHENA intervention or standard care as a control. Uniform data collection at baseline will include measures of ART adherence, HIV stigma, and drug dependence and CD4+ T-cell and viral load testing.
Phase 2: Subjects receiving the ATHENA intervention will participate in monthly medication adherence counseling sessions within prison, and home visits up to four months after prison release, during which intervention staff (nurses and peer educators working in teams) will deliver individualized medication adherence counseling based on the Freirian educational model.
Phase 3: Participants in both groups will be followed for 12 months after prison release, and asked to complete monthly study visits to evaluate primary and secondary outcomes.