Helping Enhance Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy (HEART) is a strategy for improving HIV medication adherence among persons who are antiretroviral therapy (ART) naïve or changing their ART regimen. HEART includes problem-solving activities to identify and address barriers to medication adherence in order to develop an individualized adherence plan (IAP) for a patient.


HEART was developed in response to the critical need to improve HIV medication adherence, particularly among patients with multiple life stressors and adherence challenges. HEART can be delivered by an HIV clinical care provider or case manager working in a clinical setting or community-based organization with a clinic onsite. It involves a series of in-person sessions interspersed with follow-up phone calls delivered before and in the first two months after a patient initiates ART. A patient-identified support partner is required to attend at least two of the first four sessions.

HEART Training

There is no CDC-supported training currently available for HEART. Technical assistance for HEART is available.

To request technical assistance:

  • CDC’s directly funded health department and CBO partners may request technical assistance by submitting a request in the CBA Tracking System.
  • Organizations not directly funded by CDC may contact their local health department for assistance in submitting a request.

If you have questions or need additional assistance, please contact HIVCBA@cdc.gov.

Implementation and Marketing Materials

The materials and resources listed below support the implementation and/or marketing of HEART by health departments, community-based organizations, and health care or other organizations. The resources are evidence-based and designed for cost-effective, scalable implementation.

  • Koenig LJ, Pals SL, Bush T, Pratt Palmore M, Stratford D, Ellerbrock TV. Randomized controlled trial of an intervention to prevent adherence failure among HIV-infected patients initiating antiretroviral therapy. Health Psychol 2008;27(2):159-169. doi: 10.1037/0278-6133.27.2.159.