In January 2013 and in partnership with the Oregon Health Authority, YTH launched Oregon Reminders, an SMS service that reminds users to take their meds on time, get tested regularly and shares tips on staying healthy. Users can customize the reminders they receive and choose how often they receive them. This year YTH conducted a study of the effectiveness of the program.
Text message reminder services have been consistently shown to improve outcomes, and the results from the study show that Oregon Reminders is no different.
Oregon Reminders has helped its users:
- remember to test for HIV and STDs (78%)
- test more frequently (28.6%)
- remember to take their medication (73.9%)
- miss a medication dose less often (71.7%)
Interestingly, most respondents reported behaviors that put them at risk of HIV/STD acquisition or transmission: the majority of respondents receiving HIV/STD test reminders and respondents receiving HIV medication or refill reminders reported sex without a condom in the past 30 days (70.4% and 53.3%, respectively) and many reported being drunk or high during sex in the past 30 days (37.0%, 8.9%). A small proportion reported injecting non-prescription drugs (3.7%, 6.7%). While this is not ideal behavior in terms of health, it suggests that Oregon Reminders reaches an at-risk population.
The full set of study results are expected to be published in the near future.