VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It’s a local idea that’s making a major difference in the fight against AIDS in Kenya.
Kenyan patients with HIV got a weekly text message that asked, “How are you?” in a reminder for them to take their drugs that help keep the virus dormant.
People who got the texts were 12 per cent more likely to have an undetectable level of the HIV virus.
Researcher Dr. Richard Lester with UBC got the idea when he was in Kenya and he saw that just about everybody had a cell phone. “Africa has the fastest rate of uptake of cell phones over the last several years because of a leap in technology for people who could never afford or use landline.”
Lester says it’s not just the reminder that’s keeping people healthy. “By strengthening that relationship between patients and their health care providers, we can have better outcomes.”
Lester says they’re looking at doing something similar at the BC Centre for Disease Control.