Taking Care of Me

Taking Care of Me (TCOM) is a video-based intervention designed for persons with HIV for use in clinic waiting rooms. TCOM aims to increase early initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and ART adherence among patients who view the video.

About Taking Care of Me

Taking Care of Me (TCOM) is part of a set of widely disseminated video-based interventions, which includes VOICES/VOCES (V/V) and Safe in the City (SITC), that were tested in waiting rooms of sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics and found to be cost-beneficial and effective in reducing STD incidence. Based on the successful model developed for this previous set of videos, TCOM draws primarily from Social Cognitive Theory (SCT), the Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills (IMB) model, and Social Action Theory (SAT). Together, these theories address the cognitive and behavioral factors that influence antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation and adherence.

The 29-minute TCOM video contains open captions in English or subtitles in Spanish and is designed to be played on a continuous loop. It incorporates key messages into dramatic soap-opera style content. The video is comprised of a 2-part animation and three vignettes that follow the stories of three persons with HIV:

  • Javier, a Latino gay man in his 20s;
  • Keisha, an African American heterosexual woman in her 30s; and
  • Michael, an African American gay man in his 30s.

The TCOM intervention also includes waiting room posters that use images from the video designed to direct patients’ attention to the video and reinforce prevention messages.

Intervention Goals

  • Increase HIV treatment initiation and adherence
  • Improve viral suppression and achieve undetectable viral load

Intervention Essential Elements

  • Effective in increasing ART initiation and adherence;
  • Promotes communication between patients and their healthcare providers;
  • Easy to use with no special training or space requirements;
  • Highly replicable and requires very little staff time, with no disruption to routine clinic flow;
  • Inexpensive;
  • Brief enough for patients to see most or all of it before they are called to their exam; and
  • Appealing to diverse audiences.

Intervention Audience

  • Adult patients attending HIV treatment clinics.

TCOM Training

There is no CDC-supported training currently available for TCOM. Technical assistance for the implementation of TCOM is available.

To request technical assistance:

  1. CDC’s directly funded health department and CBO partners may request technical assistance by submitting a request in the CBA Tracking System.
  2. 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 Taking Care of Me by health departments, community-based organizations, and health care or other organizations. The resources are evidence-based and designed for cost-effective, scalable implementation.

  • Neumann MS, Plant A, Margolis AD, Borkowf CB, Malotte CK, Rietmeijer CA, Flores SA, O’Donnell L, Robilotto S, Myint-U A, Montoya JA, Javanbakht M, Klausner JD. Effects of a brief video intervention on treatment initiation and adherence among patients attending human immunodeficiency virus treatment clinics. PLoS ONE 2018; 13(10): e0204599. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0204599
  • Neumann MS, Plant A, Margolis AD, Flores SA. Observed reactions among patients attending HIV treatment facilities to a brief video intervention on treatment initiation and adherence. AIDS Care. 2020 May;32(5):656-665. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2019.1695729