Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) for HIVers was launched last November by the Baltimore health department. The pilot program, serving 200 people, is the largest in a new nationwide trend to curb drug-resistant strains of HIV. As the name suggests, health workers seek out their clients daily to hand out the pills and watch ’em pop ’em. Those at risk for spotty adherence, such as the homeless or drug users, are targeted. Smack of paternalism? Not really. The programs are voluntary, not mandatory, and there’s no punishment for failing. Based on the successful TB DOT model, some worry that HIV DOT is a heftier challenge. While TB DOT is only twice a week for six months, HIV drugs may have to be taken for a lifetime. Not to worry, the goal is to graduate DOTers to stick to their regimens while flying solo.
Dot the Eyes
January 1, 2002 • By Cindra Feuer