BACKGROUND: The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) continues to be a major health issue in the United States, and an estimated 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV. As part of Healthy People 2020, the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion has targeted the persistent demographic and geographic disparities in HIV prevalence and management. Preliminary evidence suggests that mobile health technology (smartphone apps) may be a promising way to support HIV self-management among vulnerable populations of people living with HIV (PLWH) who lack access to appropriate health care services.
OBJECTIVE: This study examines the association between individual characteristics of PLWH and level of interest in using a free mobile phone app for HIV self-management.
METHODS: This study was conducted using cross-sectional survey data collected in the Florida Cohort Study between 2014 and 2016 (N=766). Associations between individual characteristics of PLWH and level of interest in using a free mobile phone app for HIV self-management were examined using bivariate analysis and logistic regression.
RESULTS: Overall, 85.5% (655/766) of respondents were interested in using a free mobile phone app that supports HIV self-management. Participants expressed the highest interest in app functions that facilitate communication with health care providers (568/740, 76.8%) or help to identify relevant health care services (556/745 74.6%). Age (OR 0.959, 95% CI 0.936-0.982), education (OR 1.281, 95% CI 1.027-1.598) and disability or inability to work (OR 0.296, 95% CI 0.145-0.606) were all significantly associated with being interested in using a free mobile phone app for HIV self-management.
CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates that a majority of PLWH are interested in using a free mobile phone app to self-manage their condition. The findings can inform the development of mobile phone apps that support effective HIV self-management.