RCT of a social-network oriented mhealth based intervention to increase access and adherence to HCV treatment and HIV viral suppression

  • Funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Total publications:0 publications

Grant number: 3R01DA040488-05S2

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Key facts

  • Disease

  • Start & end year

  • Known Financial Commitments (USD)

  • Funder

    National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Principal Investigator

  • Research Location

    United States of America
  • Lead Research Institution

  • Research Priority Alignment

  • Research Category

    Policies for public health, disease control & community resilience

  • Research Subcategory

    Approaches to public health interventions

  • Special Interest Tags

    Digital Health

  • Study Subject


  • Clinical Trial Details


  • Broad Policy Alignment


  • Age Group


  • Vulnerable Population

    Drug users

  • Occupations of Interest



The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) epidemic has been rapidly changing. Vulnerable populations, such as peoplewho use drugs (PWUD), are particularly susceptible both to severe COVID-19 illness as well as health andwell-being consequences associated with the secondary impacts of the COVID-19 epidemic.PWUD are at higher risk of COVID-19 due to high levels of comorbid health conditions and high incidence ofrespiratory impairment due to cigarette smoking. The health of PWUD are also influenced by social policiesand practices implemented as part of COVID-19 response strategies. For example, COVID-19 socialdistancing measures and hospital access restrictions may reduce PWUD's ability to obtain HIV, HCV, andother types of critical health and social services. Those who are on medication assisted treatment may be atrisk for treatment disruptions, and those who attend self-help groups such as NA and AA may be unable toattend meeting or see their sponsors. Engagement in COVID-19 prevention measures may also be moredifficult for PWUD. High rates of homelessness and unstable housing among PWUD, may prohibit their abilityto 'stay in place'. As they may have no place to stay. Unstable sources of income and effort to avoidwithdrawal symptoms may lead PWUD to more frequent interactions with others and less social distancing, aswell as more frequent sharing of injection equipment. As COVID-19 is a novel disease and massive socialchanges have been implemented, which have not been utilized since the influenza epidemic of 1918, there isscant literature to aid us in predicting the long and short-term impacts of COVID-19 among PWUD.Consequently, we propose to conduct a mixed methods study that would entail frequent (bi-weekly) qualitativeassessments of a sample of PWUD and a quantitative survey. We propose these frequent qualitativeinterviews as the situation may change rapidly depending on the epidemic dynamics.The parent grant (R01DA040488) is an RCT to improve HIV and HCV health outcomes and reduce HIV, HCV,and drug overdose risk behaviors among people who inject drugs (index participants) and their social networkmembers.