Lora Sabin Awarded NIH Grant

April 11, 2012

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded Dr. Lora Sabin, a researcher with the Center for Global Health & Development and associate professor of international health at the BU School of Public Health, a grant for her China Adherence through Technology Study (CATS).

The CATS project will build on her previous work to improve adherence to antiretroviral therapy among HIV-positive heroin users in China.  The HIV/AIDS epidemic has hit the southern border provinces hardest, where drug traffic from Vietnam continues to supply intravenous drug users.

We hope the study will improve medication adherence among this very vulnerable population so they can gain the full benefit of HIV treatment,” Sabin said.

This study combines real-time adherence monitoring from a smart pillbox that automatically transmits data to the local clinic, with personalized text message adherence reminders.   When patients return to the clinic to refill the pillbox, each will meet one-on-one with a counselor to review the data and discuss any issues that arose, including missed dosages, number of pills taken, or inconsistent patterns of adherence.

“It’s very encouraging that the NIH is funding a project that allows us to continue to try to improve outcomes for HIV-positive injection drug users in China,” Sabin said when learning of her award.   “We have such a fabulous team – Allen Gifford, Chris Gill, Mary Bachman Desilva, Taryn Vian, and Bram Brooks. I’m really happy to be forging ahead with such dedicated and experienced colleagues on this study.”