series event

Novel mHealth Interventions for Priority Populations Among People with HIV in Africa

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This event will consist of the following two talks:

Leaderboards, Games, Storytelling and More: Leveraging Technology to Improve HIV Care Outcomes Among Youth in Africa 

Dr Aima Ahonkhai will discuss novel, technology-driven approaches to addressing implementation gaps in medication adherence and mental health needs for adolescents and young adults (AYA) living with HIV, drawing on our experience with the adaptation and design of two interventions. PEERNaija is a mobile application designed to harness social incentives (from peer influence) and conditional financial incentives to promote medication adherence; PEERNaija also provides virtual peer support and early outreach to poorly adherent AYA living with HIV. Change My Story is a digital narrative game that uses a choose-your-own-adventure format in which young players navigate difficult experiences based on scenarios that cause significant psychological distress. Grounded in social cognitive theory, the game models critical skills in Problem Solving Therapy (PST) which players learn by observing and engaging with the characters, and through a task-shifted PST intervention. These interventions are currently being developed and piloted for AYA in Nigeria. 

Implementing a novel smartphone app to improve postpartum engagement in HIV care in South Africa: Lessons learned 

Dr Kate Clouse will discuss the creation of CareConekta, a novel smartphone app that used GPS location data to characterize personal mobility in order to improve engagement in HIV care among pregnant and postpartum women living with HIV in South Africa. We conducted a randomized controlled trial from 2019-2021, and enrolled 200 pregnant women attending routine antenatal care in Gugulethu. In this talk, we will discuss preliminary research that led to the app’s development, as well as findings and lessons learned from implementation of the trial under real-world conditions. This talk should be of interest to anyone interested in mHealth interventions, particularly in resource-limited settings, and those interested in maternal health. 


Dr Aima Ahonkhai

Dr Aima Ahonkhai is an infectious diseases physician scientist who completed her medical training at Johns Hopkins Hospital (Internal Medicine), and Massachusetts General Hospital/Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Infectious Diseases). As an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Global Health at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, her cross-cutting research focuses on the convergence of epidemiologic, intervention, and implementation research to understand drivers of disparate HIV care outcomes and to develop equity-focused solutions to improve HIV care outcomes in marginalized populations. Her work is focused both in Nigeria and in the Southern United States. 

Dr Kate Clouse

Dr Kate Clouse is an infectious disease epidemiologist who has designed, managed and implemented HIV/AIDS research studies since 2004. As an Associate Professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, her research specialty is in patient engagement throughout the continuum of HIV care, with a particular focus on South Africa. Her recent work has explored the impact of population mobility on engagement in HIV care, including the development of the CareConekta smartphone app.


Free and open to all, online and in person. No registration required. A recording of this session will be available after the event on this page.


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