The peak time for seeking information on topics related to HIV, such as prevention and testing, is at the beginning of the week, while risky sexual behaviors tend to increase on the weekends, according to a new analysis by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Monday Campaigns.
The researchers also found that among people living with HIV, adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) is slightly lower on weekends, and evidence indicates an association between breaks in daily routine and sporadic interruptions to ART adherence. The researchers say their work, published April 21 in the journalAIDS Care, suggests that recognizing these weekly patterns could be a first step toward finding ways to counter unsafe practices.
“Human behavior is complex, and the more we understand about behaviors related to HIV, the better equipped we are to develop effective interventions that can improve the health of people living with HIV and reduce transmission,” says study leader Dr. David Holtgrave, a professor and chair of the department of health, behavior and society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
For their analysis, the authors reviewed existing research looking for evidence of weekly patterns in HIV-related behaviors and strategically timed interventions relevant to those behaviors. Using the online search engines PubMed and EBSCO, they searched for the keywords HIV and AIDS with any combination of the terms weekly, weekend, weekday or any of the days of the week. After eliminating irrelevant search results, a total of 61 relevant articles were analyzed.