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HIV -- Case studies, AIDS (Disease), AIDS (Disease) -- Clinical trials, Antiretroviral therapy, AIDS (Disease) -- Patients -- Counseling of


Antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence is suboptimal among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM). Online interventions that incorporate social support represent new opportunities to improve adherence. This study focused on how social support was provided and sought within a technology-based ART adherence intervention. We coded and analyzed 1,751 messages. Within the social support messages, half of the time participants sought social support and half of the time they provided social support. Emotional and informational support were the most frequently exchanged forms. The most frequent topic that participants sought support around was interpersonal relationships (29%), followed by HIV care and treatment (28%). Similarly, 31% and 27% of messages in which participants provided support was related to HIV treatment and care and interpersonal relationships, respectively. HIV treatment and care issues most salient were ART adherence, lab results and upcoming tests, ART side effects, changes in ART regimens, and relationships with healthcare providers. Participants used the messaging feature in this intervention to spontaneously discuss and exchange support around HIV treatment and care. This analysis provided an opportunity to understand how participants informally interact with one another, how they seek and provide social support online, and their salient personal issues.


© 2021 by the authors


This is the pre-print of a work that was accepted for publication in AIDS care. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in AIDS care, 1-9.



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