Technology use among patients in a non-urban Southern U.S. HIV clinic in 2015

October 19, 2017 by School of Medicine Webmaster

Behavioral interventions can be delivered over the Internet, but nonurban subpopulations living with HIV may still have inadequate Internet access to make this feasible. Methods: We report on a survey conducted in 2015 among 150 patients receiving care at a university-based Infectious Disease Clinic serving a nonurban and rural population in central Virginia. Our aim was to determine the rate of computer, tablet, and smartphone usage, as well as Internet access, to inform the delivery of a novel intervention using Internet and mobile technology. Results: The participants’ mean age was 46; 111 patients used computers, 101 used smartphones, and 41 used tablets. The results showed that 87% of patients had Internet access. Of those, 49 reported daily Internet use, while 18% reported weekly Internet use, and 33% reported less frequent Internet use. Conclusions: The survey study data suggest that Internet access among nonurban and rural patients with HIV is adequate to support trials testing Internet-delivered interventions. It is time to develop and deliver Internet interventions tailored for this often isolated subpopulation.