Session: 262. HIV: Antiretroviral Therapy, Saturday, 12:15-1:30 p.m.
Current HIV treatment options consist of daily oral antiretroviral therapies (ART). A long-acting injectable HIV treatment is in development for monthly or every other month administration. Patient preferences for ART are important to understand and can impact retention in care, adherence and outcomes. The purpose of this study was to obtain and analyze patient perceptions of oral and injectable ART using a novel approach.
Qualitative thematic analysis was conducted to examine online discussion threads posted by people living with HIV (PLHIV) in POZ Community Forums from 2013-18. Perceptions of ART were analyzed using keywords (e.g., dose, pill, daily, long-acting, injection, monthly, cabotegravir). Relevant threads were extracted, reviewed and coded using qualitative data analysis software (ATLAS.ti.8).
Analyses identified 684 relevant discussion threads including 2,629 coded quotations posted by 568 PLHIV. Oral ART (2,517 quotations) was discussed more frequently than injectable ART (112). Positive statements on oral ART commonly mentioned the small number of pills (278), dose frequency (248), ease of scheduling (154), and ease-of-use (146). PLHIV also noted disadvantages of oral ART including negative emotional impact (179), difficulty with medication access (137), scheduling (131), and treatment adherence (128). Among the PLHIV discussing injectable ART, common positive comments focused on less frequent administration (34), emotional benefits of not taking a daily pill (7), potential benefits for adherence (6), overall convenience (6), and benefits for traveling (6). Some quotations (10) perceived the frequency of injections negatively, and others had negative perceptions of needles (8) or appointments required to receive injections (8).
ART was frequently discussed among PLHIV on this online forum. This innovative approach for obtaining and analyzing unsolicited comments revealed that while many PLHIV expressed positive views about their daily oral regimen, others perceived inconveniences and challenges. Among PLHIV who were aware of a possible long-acting injectable treatment, many viewed this potential new option as a convenient alternative with the potential to improve adherence.
Cindy Garris– Director, ViiV Healthcare, Raleigh, NC
Louis Matza– Senior Research Leader, Evidera, Bethesda, MD
Trena Paulus– Professor, University of Georgia, Johnson City, TN
Nicolas Van de Velde– Senior Director, ViiV Healthcare, London, England, United Kingdom
Vasiliki Chounta– Manager, ViiV Healthcare, Brentford, England, United Kingdom
Kristen Deger– Research Associate, Evidera, Bethesda, MD