Dr. Adam W. Carrico, associate professor at the Miller School’s Department of Public Health Sciences, in collaboration with other researchers, have previously found that behavioral interventions have positive outcomes in methamphetamine-using men who have sex with men. One intervention called Affect Regulation Treatment to Enhance Methamphetamine Intervention Success (ARTEMIS) reduced the HIV viral load, increased positive emotions, and decreased stimulant use of the participants.
Dr. Carrico will now lead a project funded the National Institute on Drug Abuse to test the efficacy of Supporting Treatment Adherence for Resilience and Thriving (START). START is a mHealth intervention that will integrate two theoretically grounded, evidence-based behavioral interventions. Dr. Keith Horvath from San Diego State University and Dr. Sabina Hirshfield from the State University of New York – Downstate will also serve as co-principal investigators.
The first aim of the project is to test the efficacy of START for achieving a higher proportion of stimulant-using men who have sex with men who are virally suppressed at six months. The results will then be compared to a website with referrals to HIV treatment information and substance use treatment resources, which will be the project’s control condition. The team will analyze the efficacy of the intervention for decreasing stimulant use, sexual risk, as well as whether it increases theory-based psychological processes over 12 months. Second, relative to the control condition, the team will also assess the cost and cost-effectiveness of START in achieving and/or maintaining viral suppression, including net savings with respect to averted health utilization.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on October 04