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Effective Interventions

Essential Elements 

About Taking Care of Me

The Taking Care of Me video is comprised of three short dramatic vignettes that follow the stories of three characters 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 video also features a two-part animated sequence with a character named James learning to get along with his HIV medication, Bill. The video is available with open captions in English or subtitles in Spanish. 

Why Use Taking Care of Me?

The intervention is:

  • Effective in increasing ART initiation and adherence
  • 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
  • Appealing to diverse audiences

Taking Care of Me is a new addition to a set of widely disseminated video-based interventions, VOICES/VOCES (V/V) and Safe in the City (SITC), that were tested in sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics and found to be cost-beneficial and effective in reducing STD incidence. 1-7 Based on the successful model developed for this previous set of videos, Taking Care of Me 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 behaviors related to initiation of care, adherence, retention in care, and sexual risk reduction. SCT and SAT have also been used to guide other effective video-based educational interventions, including 
V/V and SITC. 5,7

The objectives of Taking Care of Me are to promote:

  1. early initiation of ART among treatment-naïve clients,
  2. adherence to ART,
  3. retention in care among HIV-positive patients who are already on therapy,
  4. sexual risk reduction for HIV-positive minority persons, and
  5. communication between HIV-positive patients and their healthcare providers 
To achieve these objectives, the video uses character modeling, true-to-life situations, and over 80 health messages conveyed in dialog, actions, and visuals. These embedded messages address the benefits of early treatment, medication adherence, and retention in care. The video presents realistic strategies for adherence, sexual risk reduction, and staying in care. The stories recognize and address common barriers to treatment and care, including scheduling conflicts, stigma around HIV and sexual orientation, social support, alcohol use, perception of treatment cost, and relationship with one’s health care provider.  

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