Mirjam Kempf, PhD
HIV-infected women's perspective on telemedicine delivered mental health services
Using funding from her 2011-2012 Dean's Scholar Award, Assistant Professor Mirjam-Colette Kempf, PhD, MPH, will evaluate the acceptability of telemedicine technology in the delivery of mental health services among HIV-infected women seeking clinical care at a regional AIDS Outreach organization.
Specifically, depression has been recognized as a strong predictor of HIV care non-adherence, and consequently of increased morbidity and mortality. HIV-infected women are disproportionally affected by depression in comparison to HIV-infected men. However, interventions addressing the psychosocial needs of HIV-infected women, particularly in the rural Deep South of the United States where HIV prevalence remains high, are limited.
The findings from this project will provide a framework that will inform a theory-based intervention to improve depression and adherence to HIV care.
Dr. Kempf and her investigative team have applied for extramural funding to pilot the intervention among HIV-infected women located in Alabama, followed by a multi-site randomized controlled trial of the intervention in other areas within and outside the state.
The long-term goal of the larger project is to develop an effective intervention that significantly improves clinical outcomes in HIV-infected women by decreasing depression morbidity and simultaneously increasing both adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and retention in care.