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HIV Medication Adherence Efficacy Review: Efficacy Criteria



The PRS efficacy criteria are used to determine if an HIV medication adherence (MA) behavioral intervention is evidence-based, that is, if there is strong or sufficient evidence that the intervention improves adherence to HIV antiretroviral medication or reduces HIV viral load.

Since the introduction of HAART in 1996, the HIV medication adherence research field has matured and is becoming more rigorous. In 2008, to reflect the scientific progress in the field and focus on those interventions with the strongest evidence of efficacy, PRS began a process to develop criteria for identifying HIV medication adherence (MA) evidence-based behavioral interventions (EBIs). These criteria were finalized in 2010 after a series of multiple consultations with methodologists, HIV prevention researchers, and key federal partners – the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). These revised criteria focus on quality of study design, quality of study implementation and analysis, and strength of evidence of efficacy. Based on the overall quality of the study, EBIs are classified as either best-evidence or good-evidence.

Best-evidence Medication Adherence Interventions

Best-evidence medication adherence (MA) interventions are HIV behavioral interventions that focus on medication adherence behaviors among persons living with HIV, have been rigorously evaluated, and have shown significant effects in both reducing HIV viral load and improving medication adherence behaviors. These interventions are considered to be scientifically rigorous and to provide the strongest evidence of efficacy. These interventions meet the PRS efficacy criteria for best-evidence MA interventions.

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Good-evidence Medication Adherence Interventions

Good-evidence medication adherence (MA) interventions are HIV behavioral interventions that focus on medication adherence behaviors among persons living with HIV, have been sufficiently evaluated, and have shown significant effects in reducing HIV viral load or improving medication adherence behaviors. While the evaluations of these interventions do not meet the same level of rigor as the best-evidence interventions, they are considered to be scientifically sound and provide sufficient evidence of efficacy. These interventions meet the PRS efficacy criteria for good-evidence MA interventions.

Back to HIV Risk Reduction Efficacy Review Methods

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