San Francisco, California 94143

  • Young Adults


In the US, fewer than 6% of all youth living with HIV (YLWH) achieve HIV viral suppression. However, health disparities among youth extend across the entire HIV care continuum in that there is a strong association between younger age and later HIV diagnosis, lower engagement in care, lower levels of antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence, and worse HIV clinical outcomes. In response to this critical public health dilemma, the investigators propose to develop a novel mobile health application ("app") to improve engagement in health care and ART adherence and to pilot test this mobile health app in 18-29-year-old YLWH residing in San Francisco. The aims of this study are to: Aim 1: Build on a theory-guided model and formative work to complete the development of a novel personalized mobile health app for improved HIV clinical outcomes among YLWH (includes field test of initial release to ensure adequate usability and engagement). Aim 2: Conduct a six-month single arm pilot study to examine WYZ feasibility and acceptability among YLWH ( N = 76) living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Finally, the investigators will conduct in-depth qualitative interviews with a subset of participants (N = 20) and clinical team members (N = 10) whose patients participated in the pilot study. The investigators hypothesize that this mobile health app will be feasible and acceptable and will result in improved HIV clinical outcomes. Upon completion, the investigators will be ready to test the efficacy of this app in a subsequent large-scale randomized control trial among a population that is disproportionately impacted by HIV and at elevated risk for poor clinical outcomes.

Study summary:

WYZ is a modular, adaptive, and personalized intervention delivered via a mobile phone. It is grounded in the Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills (IMB) model which has been valuable for understanding and guiding the development of interventions for complex health behaviors. WYZ was created in collaboration with 18-29 year-old YLWH using a Human-Centered Design (HCD) approach that emphasizes understanding the perspective of the users of the technology. WYZ is intended to improve engagement in HIV care by 1) enhancing medication adherence self-efficacy, 2) increasing awareness and use of community resources, 3) reducing barriers to communication between youth and their healthcare team, and 4) providing a secure platform for the formation of a supportive closed online community of YLWH. The investigators will complete development of WYZ (1.0), field test the initial release with a cohort of 10 potential users over a period of three months to identify and address technical challenges, and develop a fully functioning version (WYZ 2.0) that can be used in a pilot investigation. The investigators will then conduct a six-month single-arm pilot study to examine WYZ feasibility and acceptability among (N = 76) YLWH (18-29 years old) who live and/or receive care in the San Francisco Bay Area. The objectives of this forthcoming phase are to refine the design so as to improve satisfaction and engagement with the intervention among YLWH and their healthcare providers. The main outcomes of the pilot trial include feasibility and acceptability as indicated by meeting or exceeding proposed benchmarks. Feasibility will be assessed via user metrics by examining the participant's interactions with WYZ via a mobile analytics service called Flurry and backend (Salesforce) reporting tools. Acceptability will be examined during regular phone check-ins, a system usability scale (SUS), a satisfaction survey, and an exit qualitative interview. In addition to feasibility measures, the investigators will calculate an engagement index (EI) for each participant. The EI has been detailed and used successfully in other mHealth interventions. The EI includes the following sub-indices: (1) click depth (number of pages a user views per session), (2) loyalty (measures how frequently users access the application during the study period), (3) recency (the time difference between each session the user accessed the application), (4) interaction (number of push notifications opened from those sent through the application), and (5) feedback (subjective measure of participants' satisfaction with the application). Based on the data from participants in this pilot study, the investigators will develop a refined version of WYZ (3.0), which will be used in a future investigation to examine the efficacy of the intervention with a much larger sample.


Eligibility Criteria: - Must be between 18 and 29 years of age - Must be living with HIV - Must reside and/or get care in San Francisco Bay Area - Must be able to provide informed consent to be a research participant - Must be able to speak and understand English - Must have access to an Android (5.0 or higher) or iOS (10.0 or higher) mobile phone Exclusion Criteria: Evidence of cognitive impairment or psychotic disorder that prevents one from understanding the purpose of the study and/or participating fully in study activities. This determination will be made by trained study staff in consultation with the principal investigator.



Primary Contact:

Principal Investigator
Parya Saberi, PhamD
UCSF School of Medicine, Division of Prevention Science

Backup Contact:


Location Contact:

San Francisco, California 94143
United States

There is no listed contact information for this specific location.

Site Status: N/A

Data Source:

Date Processed: June 16, 2021

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