Assistant Professor of Medicine, Aaloke Mody, MD, is passionate about delivering high quality and patient-centered care in resource-limited settings. Mody’s soon-to-be-funded NIH grant will support a project in Zambia that helps patients who are living with HIV to remain in care long term.

Aaloke Mody

Mody will tell you that HIV treatment has advanced tremendously over the past three decades.  Today, patients living with HIV can take a single daily pill and extend their life expectancy to equal those who don’t have HIV, and with no risk of transmitting HIV to a partner. Despite these advances, barriers to consistent treatment remain, and suboptimal retention in care, Mody says, is a major hurdle to successful HIV treatment.

In Africa, 30 to 50 percent of individuals often cycle in and out of care due to barriers such as access to medication; life circumstances such as work-related responsibilities; unexpected travel; or family commitments like care of a sick relative. Others may had a bad clinic experience or have a hard time accepting that they are living with HIV, Mody says.

Mody’s team hopes to use grant funding to support a study that works with those Zambian people living with HIV to bring them back to care and assess and address barriers so that they can continue HIV care long term. Mody says intervention strategies include connecting patients to a navigator who can help coordinate their care and offering community-based medication delivery so patients have easier access to their medication (rather than having to come in-person to the clinic to receive them.)