Switching from electronic adherence monitoring (EAM) that stores data to a system that provides real-time adherence data boosts adherence to antiretrovirals (ARVs) among people with HIV and cuts down the frequency of treatment interruptions of more than two days, aidsmap reports.

Publishing their findings in the journal AIDS, researchers recruited 112 people with HIV in Uganda to the study. For the first six months, the participants received standard EAM to monitor their adherence to ARVs. This system stores information about the date and time at which individuals open their pill containers in a computer that investigators can later access.

After six months, the researchers switched the participants to an EAM system that provides real-time data.

During the first six months of the study, the participants took an average of 84 percent of their ARV doses. After switching to the real-time EAM, their adherence rate rose to 93 percent—a statistically significant difference, meaning it is unlikely to have occurred by chance. The average number of times participants missed their ARV doses for 48 hours or longer dropped from 2.2 while they received the standard EAM to 0.7 after they switched to the real-time EAM.

The switch to real-time EAM did not increase the rate of viral suppression among the participants.

The researchers also studied 255 people with HIV who received only real-time EAM. They had an adherence rate nearly identical to those who switched to real-time EAM from the standard system (92 percent compared with 93 percent). However, those who only ever received the real-time EAM had a higher average number of treatment interruptions (1.9 compared with 0.7) than those who switched from standard EAM.

To read the aidsmap article, click here.

To read the study abstract, click here.