Peer-based programs to support antiretroviral adherence


Key take-home messages
  • There is some evidence to suggest that peer-based interventions can be effective and cost-effective tools for improving adherence to HAART among people living with HIV. However, in other studies, peer-based interventions had no effect on levels of adherence and medical outcomes.
  • A few studies noted that more research is needed to fully address the efficacy of peer-based interventions to improve HAART adherence.
  • There is evidence to suggest that interventions tailored for specific groups — such as women, children, African, Caribbean and Black populations , people who use drugs and people who are homeless — can be effective.
  • Most interventions selected peers who were HIV-positive, adherent to their treatment and capable of communicating empathy.
  • Data suggests that peer relationships can be beneficial to the peer as well as the patient, and that the reciprocal support that peers receive may play a key role in attracting and retaining peers.
  • One unique study involved participants alternating between two roles: someone advocating with a peer and someone who was receiving that health advocacy from another peer. This approach was highly effective because it took advantage of peer pressure as well as the fact that people internalized the information they were advocating to others.


The Ontario HIV Treatment Network: Rapid Response Service




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Treatment
  • Health Systems
    • Delivery arrangements


Abstract/Full paper

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