Food insecurity, or the lack of consistent access to nutritionally adequate and safe foods, effects up to 50% of people living with HIV (PWH) in the United States (US). PWH who are food insecure have lower antiretroviral adherence, are less likely to achieve viral suppression, and are at increased risk developing of serious illnesses, including cardiometabolic comorbidities. The objectives of this study are to better understand how food insecurity contributes to the development of cardiometabolic comorbidities among PWH and to test a novel bilingual peer navigation-mHealth intervention (weCare/Secure) designed to reduce these comorbidities in food-insecure PWH with prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes (T2DM).
In Aim 1, we will recruit a longitudinal cohort of 1800 adult (≥18 years) PWH from our clinic-based population to determine the difference in the prevalence and incidence of cardiometabolic comorbidities between food-secure and food-insecure PWH. Food insecurity screening, indicators of cardiometabolic comorbidities, and other characteristics documented in the electronic health record (EHR) will be collected annually for up to 3 years from this cohort. In Aim 2, we will conduct a randomized controlled trial among a sample of food-insecure PWH who have prediabetes or T2DM to compare changes in insulin sensitivity over 6 months between participants in weCare/Secure and participants receiving usual care. In Aim 3, we will conduct semi-structured individual in-depth interviews to explore the effect of the intervention among intervention participants with varying insulin sensitivity outcomes.
Aim 1 (longitudinal cohort) recruitment began in May 2022 and is ongoing. Aim 2 (intervention) recruitment is planned for spring 2023 and is expected to be completed in spring 2024. Aim 3 (process evaluation) data collection will occur after sufficient completion of the 6-month assessment in Aim 2. Final results are anticipated in fall 2025.
This research seeks to advance our understanding of how food insecurity impacts the development of cardiometabolic comorbidities among PWH and how food insecurity interventions may alleviate relevant comorbidities. Given the growing interest among health systems in addressing food insecurity, if the intervention is found to be efficacious, it could be broadly disseminated across HIV clinical care settings.
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04943861. Registered on June 29, 2021.